NTILE is an analytic function. It divides an ordered data set into a number of buckets indicated by expr and assigns the appropriate bucket number to each row. The buckets are numbered 1 through expr. The expr value must resolve to a positive constant for each partition. Oracle Database expects an integer, and if expr is a noninteger constant, then Oracle truncates the value to an integer. The return value is NUMBER.
The number of rows in the buckets can differ by at most 1. The remainder values (the remainder of number of rows divided by buckets) are distributed one for each bucket, starting with bucket 1.
If expr is greater than the number of rows, then a number of buckets equal to the number of rows will be filled, and the remaining buckets will be empty.
You cannot use NTILE or any other analytic function for expr. That is, you cannot nest analytic functions, but you can use other built-in function expressions for expr.
The following example divides into 4 buckets the values in the salary column of the oe.employees table from Department 100. The salary column has 6 values in this department, so the two extra values (the remainder of 6 / 4) are allocated to buckets 1 and 2, which therefore have one more value than buckets 3 or 4.
SELECT last_name, salary, NTILE(4) OVER (ORDER BY salary DESC)
AS quartile FROM employees
WHERE department_id = 100;
LAST_NAME SALARY QUARTILE
--------------------- ---------- ----------
Greenberg 12000 1
Faviet 9000 1
Chen 8200 2
Urman 7800 2
Sciarra 7700 3
Popp 6900 4