convert sql column from nvarchar to numeric

I have a SQL database called BBKTrial, a table called dbo.sheet1$. a column called [as-am].  This column is nvarchar(225) format.  I need to convert it to numeric.

How can I do this??
Curtis LongAsked:
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PortletPaulEE Topic AdvisorCommented:
see CAST() or CONVERT()

Conversion in that direction (string >>> to >>> number) will fail is any non-numeric data is in that column

either of these will do it.

CONVERT( [as-am] as decimal(12,3) )


CAST( [as-am] , decimal(12,3) )

you can change the numeric type to suit whatever it is you need.

BUT. this conversion can cause failures.

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PortletPaulEE Topic AdvisorCommented:
You can protect against conversion errors using iSNUMERIC() but this completely safe.


select CONVERT( [as-am] as decimal(12,3) )
from that_table
where ISNUMERIC([as-am]) = 1

a result of 1 from ISNUMERIC() indicates the parameters holds numeric information but this can include items such as currency symbols

We could advise better if you supplied this:

select distinct [as-am]
from that_table
where ISNUMERIC([as-am]) = 0
Jim HornMicrosoft SQL Server Data DudeCommented:
The above works for a query. If you need to change the column data type in the table to numeric, then...
ALTER TABLE dbo.sheet1$
ALTER COLUMN as-am numeric(19,4)  
-- change the 19 and 4 to whatever percision and scale you want

Open in new window

BUT this will only work if all values can be converted to numeric in the first place.  Use Paul's ISNUMERIC() function to test.
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Dung DinhDBA and Business Intelligence DeveloperCommented:
Another way, you can use below query

CASE WHEN ISNUMERIC([as-am]) =1 THEN CONVERT(numeric,[as-am]) ELSE 0 END
FROM <your table>
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
The Experts above already told you how to convert so I'll focus in another thing in your question.

You said: "a table called dbo.sheet1$. a column called [as-am].  This column is nvarchar(225) format."
This seems to me a table exported from an Excel spreadsheet using the Import/Export wizard. When you export data by the wizard, you can define the datatype of the destination column, so next time you can do it immediatly during the Import/Export process so no convertion will be needed after the Export.
Curtis LongAuthor Commented:
How do you define the data type during import??  I do not see that option in the wizard
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
In the Import Wizard when you chose the worksheets and the destination table, click on "Edit Mappings..." button and will pop-up a new screen where you can change column names and data types.

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