Why Use SQL Over Excel

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SQL is replacing Excel in many fields, and data analysis is certainly one of them. If you are still using Excel as a data analyst, you are missing something very valuable. SQL can make your life easier, as it’s more efficient and faster than Excel. So, how and from where can you learn SQL?

How Can SQL Help Data Analyst?

You can use SQL to help you with the following work:

  1. Creating databases and tables.
  2. Adding data to a table.
  3. Selecting data.
  4. Editing data.
  5. Deleting data.
  6. Sorting data.
  7. Finding unique values.
  8. Combining data from two or more tables.

SQL can do everything you need. However, Excel can do most of those things too. So, why do you need to learn SQL?

Why Use SQL Over Excel?

For data analysts, SQL has many clear advantages over Excel:

  • Excel deals with large data sets inefficiently.
  • There is a higher possibility of making accidental changes in data using Excel.
  • A database server like SQL performs better than a software application.
  • It is difficult to replicate an old analysis of new data using Excel.
  • SQL gives you more options to analyze your data.

By now, I hope that you are quite determined to learn SQL!

So where do you begin? If you’re a database newbie, an excellent course for getting started with SQL is the SQL Basics.

What Does SQL Basics Online Course Cover?

It starts by introducing relational databases. There are several popular database management systems such as MySQL and PostgreSQL. The good thing is most of these systems support SQL standard, which is taught in the SQL Basics course.

SQL starts with creating databases and tables. Usually, there is one database for one project. You typically create tables for real-world entities such as customers, companies, and products. The great thing about this online course is that it teaches you how to use SQL without making things complicated with theoretical concepts. It’s easy to understand, even for someone who is not very studious.

After introducing relational databases, the course provides straightforward exercises. You learn how to retrieve information using a simple SELECT query. Although SQL uses common English words, you’ll need to improve your SQL vocabulary.

One of the many skills you learn in this online course is how to order data alphabetically or numerically using ORDER BY. Assume you want to list companies with the highest revenue alphabetically. You can use ORDER BY twice: revenue in descending order and company names in ascending order.

GROUPING and HAVING are two important concepts in SQL that you learn in this course. Another useful skill you learn is how to remove duplicate content using a distinct keyword in SQL.

Joins and subqueries are probably the most complicated topics in the course. They can be used to solve the same problems in two different ways. If you don't want to increase your SQL vocabulary, use subqueries. However, you’ll need to apply complex logic to solve the problem. On the other hand, joins can do the same work easily with just a few more keywords.

Last but not least, this online course covers set operations. Unions and intersections are an essential part of analyzing data. Assume you have two types of customers stored in two tables. Sometimes, you will need to get a combination of these two tables or only intersecting the data from these two tables. You can do it easily with UNION and INTERSECT.

You Don't Need IT Background to Learn SQL Basics

Are you reluctant to take an SQL course, because you don’t have an IT background? This course is specifically created for people with no prior background/experience in IT or computer programming. You don't have to go through the technical jargon to complete it: Real-world examples are used to enhance your understanding.

Avoid Myths About SQL

There are a lot of myths about SQL. Some try to liken SQL to programming languages such as Java and C. However, SQL is for a different target audience because database designing isn’t the same thing as programming. If you think you can't learn SQL, you have probably been influenced by these myths. Read this article written by a humanities graduate to remove any doubts or fears you might have about learning SQL.

Online Learning Fits Tight Working Schedule

Are you working on a tight schedule? Does your job make it difficult to find time to learn? Vertabelo Academy has addressed this issue by making the course self-paced. The interfaces are easy to use, and their customer service is really helpful. This allows you to navigate the course efficiently and without getting stuck.

SQL Helps You Do Better in Interviews

If you are between the age of 28 to 35, you’ll likely be interviewed in order to advance and/or change your career. If you are applying for a data analyst job, you will probably be asked questions about SQL. These could come in several forms. You might be given a real-world scenario and asked how to convert it into an SQL problem. You might also be asked how to analyze data with SQL queries. This online course helps you face such interviews with confidence.

You Are on The Path to Becoming Data Scientist

Once you become a successful data analyst, the next step in your career is to become a data scientist. Your data analysis competence is being determined by how well you can process an enormous amount of data to make insightful conclusions. This is where SQL can have a significant impact. SQL makes data management convenient and hassle-free.

So what’s the next step?

This article clearly explains what you need to transform into a data scientist. You may not understand it completely now, but once you finish the SQL Basics, this article will be a great resource to guide you forward.

Shanika Wickramasinghe

Shanika is a software engineer at WSO2, one of the leading open-source software companies in the world. Always keen to share her knowledge, she also works as a part-time freelance writer. Her favorite subjects are SQL and data science. In her free time, she enjoys increasing her knowledge and sharpening her skills by taking online courses.

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