# Using run length encoding

When you run Database Designer, you can choose to optimize for loads, which minimizes database footprint. In this case, Database Designer applies encodings to columns to maximize query performance. Encoding options include run length encoding (RLE), which replaces sequences (runs) of identical values in a column with a set of pairs, where each pair represents the number of contiguous occurrences for a given value: (* occurrences*,

*).*

`value`

RLE is generally applicable to a column with low-cardinality, and where identical values are contiguous—typically, because table data is sorted on that column. For example, a customer profile table typically includes a gender column that contains values of F and M only. Sorting on gender ensures runs of F or M values that can be expressed as a set of two pairs: (* occurrences*, F) and (

*, M). So, given 8,147 occurrences of F and 7,956 occurrences of M, and a projection that is sorted primarily on gender, Vertica can apply RLE and store these values as a single set of two pairs: (8147, F) and (7956, M). Doing so reduces this projection’s footprint and improves query performance.*

`occurrences`