Find most popular column names in Azure SQL Database

Rene Castro - Dataedo Team Rene Castro 2018-12-10

Table of Contents:

    The query below finds the most popular column names.


    select as column_name,
          count(*) as tables,
          cast(100.0 * count(*) / 
          (select count(*) from sys.tables) as numeric(36, 1)) as percent_tables
       from sys.tables as tab
           inner join sys.columns as col 
           on tab.object_id = col.object_id
    group by 
    having count(*) > 1
    order by count(*) desc


    • column_name - name of the column
    • tables - number of tables that have a particular column name
    • percent_tables - percentage of tables that have a column with that name


    • One row: represents a particular column name (each name appears only once)
    • Scope of rows: all colum names that appear at least twice (in two tables)
    • Ordered by: the most popular are shown first

    Sample results

    Below is a list of the most popular column names in the AdventureWorksLT database. As you can see, the ModifiedDate column exists in 11 tables, which represents the 68.8% of the tables

    Similarly, in Dataedo repository database most popular columns are creation and modifiaction time stamps and logins.

    You can learn more about typical metadata fields here: 6 Typical Metadata Fields Stored by Applications

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