We only support AVG MEDIAN and SUM on number based fields – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when you try to perform AVG, MEDIAN, or SUM operations on non-numeric fields in Elasticsearch. These operations are only supported on numeric fields. To resolve this issue, ensure that the field you’re trying to operate on is numeric. If it’s not, you may need to reindex your data with the correct mapping or use a script to convert the field to a numeric type before performing these operations.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” we only support AVG; MEDIAN and SUM on number based fields ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: sort, search.

Log Context

Log “we only support AVG; MEDIAN and SUM on number based fields” class name is FieldSortBuilder.java. We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 }  IndexFieldData fieldData = context.getForField(fieldType; MappedFieldType.FielddataOperation.SEARCH);
 if (fieldData instanceof IndexNumericFieldData == false
 && (sortMode == SortMode.SUM || sortMode == SortMode.AVG || sortMode == SortMode.MEDIAN)) {
 throw new QueryShardException(context; "we only support AVG; MEDIAN and SUM on number based fields");
 final SortField field;
 boolean isNanosecond = false;
 if (numericType != null) {
 if (fieldData instanceof IndexNumericFieldData == false) {


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