Median Google Search Frequency

Google's marketing team is making a Superbowl commercial and needs a simple statistic to put on their TV ad: the median number of searches a person made last year.

However, at Google scale, querying the 2 trillion searches is too costly. Luckily, you have access to the summary table which tells you the number of searches made last year and how many Google users fall into that bucket.

Write a query to report the median of searches made by a user. Round the median to one decimal point.

Column Name | Type |
---|---|

searches | integer |

num_users | integer |

searches | num_users |
---|---|

1 | 2 |

2 | 2 |

3 | 3 |

4 | 1 |

median |
---|

2.5 |

By expanding the search_frequency table, we get [1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4] which has a median of 2.5 searches per user.

Start by forming a common table expression (CTE) or subquery that will expand each search by the number of users value.

Using the function, we can pass in 1 as the start value and the num_users value as the stop value. This will give us a set of numbers, , for example. See this link for more information on this function: GENERATE_SERIES()

Since PostgreSQL does not provide a function to help us find the median value, we can use the function. This function takes the percentile required as an argument, in this case it is 0.5, i.e. the 50th percentile (MEDIAN). The clause creates an ordered subset of search values returned by the CTE/Subquery mentioned above that can be used to perform aggregations. Find the MEDIAN value

Finally, to make sure our output is rounded to one decimal place, you can use the function. Converting the value returned by the to a decimal using is necessary since it may be an integer value which won't allow the function to work properly.

PostgreSQL 14