What is SQL?
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a database programming language designed to communicate to with a database.
SQL can do the following:
- Create new tables in a database
- Execute queries against a database
- Insert records in a database
- Retrieve data from a database
- Set permissions on tables, procedures, and views
Even if SQL is a standard, many of the database systems that exist today implement their own version of SQL language.
Why Use SQL?
We can store data in systems such as Excel or Google Sheets. However, SQL Server (or other database management systems) is a better tool for the job. Excel is great for spreadsheets and explaining data analytics, but its limited in the amount of data it can stored. It’s easy to make accidental changes to data and it’s hard to replicate an old analysis of new data. Mostly, the larger the amount of data, the slower it becomes. Likewise, it is cumbersome to share giant spreadsheets over email.
SQL also separates analysis from data. When using SQL, your data is stored separately from your analysis. Instead of emailing a massive Excel file, you can send tiny plain text files containing the instructions for your analysis. Each team member can have access to the same data, so they can run your analysis on their own. They don't have to manage file versions or risk corrupting the data, and they can re-run it on any other data. SQL can run on databases with billions of rows and columns. Simply, SQL is much faster than that's before the pivot tables, multiple tabs, and functions you're probably using.
Learn SQL in Hands-on Classes
These guides are helpful resources for before or after our interactive, SQL classroom training in NYC. Register today and master this powerful database programming language.