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Are There Any Good SQL Courses for Marketers?

Looking for places to learn SQL online and level up your marketing efforts? Check out these SQL courses.

Introduction

With the help of IT experts, meticulous marketers analyze information to create advertising strategies. This commonplace state of affairs forces the marketer to rely on data experts and sometimes wait for their availability. But what if marketers could pull the data themselves? They can – by turning into a technical marketer.

SQL (Structured Query Language) plays quite an important role in the dynamics of marketing. And no wonder: it is the easiest and most common language used for data analysis. SQL has had its ups and downs, but its versatility means it's getting back on track. It’s even stronger because both data professionals and business professionals have started to understand the power of SQL.

In this article, I’m reviewing four SQL courses designed with marketers in mind:

  1. SQL Tutorial for Marketers by DataCamp
  2. An Introductory SQL Tutorial: How to Write Simple Queries by HubSpot
  3. SQL for Marketers on Udemy
  4. SQL Basics by LearnSQL.com

#1 SQL Tutorial for Marketers

DataCamp’s SQL Tutorial for Marketers is an interactive online course. It teaches the fundamentals of SQL: simple SELECT statements, filtering rows, limiting results, and counting data. The course is a mix of exercises, including writing SQL queries to answer exercise questions. Sometimes you can guess the answer without writing any code, e.g. when there’s no space for coding or when the assertion is not implemented (meaning your code is not being verified).

Solving exercises gains you XP points. Whenever you take a Hint or Show Solution, XP points are deducted from your total. Fun fact: You cannot exchange your points for anything.

Data camp

Pros

  • The course is free.
  • No prior experience in SQL or databases needed.
  • There is a space to write SQL queries.
  • The first few exercises introduce you to the platform and explain how to use it.
  • You collect XP points, which is satisfying.
  • There is no certificate, but you can download a “Statement of Accomplishment.”

Cons

  • In some exercises, the code is not checked, so it’s possible to just guess the answer.
  • Some instructions ask for providing the first item listed in the query result, which is not how SQL works. In SQL, order is not an inherent property of a dataset. Thus, there’s no guarantee that data will come back in a certain (and repetitive) order unless your query includes the ORDER BY clause. This information is important, especially for beginners, and may help you avoid some stupid mistakes.
  • You won’t find out how to set up SQL tools on your computer.
  • Switching between a dark or light interface is not global – you can only change the color of the console where you type SQL queries. What’s the point of that? My eyes hurt even more from the contrast.
  • The last exercise was a disappointment. I gave away 3 XP to see the hint, which was “Will you continue to learn SQL?”. It could have been a discount code, at least...
3/5

#2 An Introductory SQL Tutorial: How to Write Simple Queries

This short HubSpot tutorial is a pleasant introduction to SQL. Because it only presents how simple SQL statements work, I wouldn’t call it a course. Still, a hesitant learner will definitely appreciate it, so I couldn’t not mention it.

The author clearly describes what SQL is and why you should use it. They also underline the importance of understanding database hierarchy and give examples of how to:

  1. Retrieve data with a simple SELECT.
  2. Filter records using WHERE.
  3. Group rows with the GROUP BY clause and differentiate GROUP BY from ORDER BY.
  4. Count the number of times a criterium meets a condition.
  5. Join tables with INNER JOIN.

Pros

  • The tutorial is free.
  • It’s short and concisely covers the very basics of SQL.
  • It’s a good primer for learning SQL.

Cons

  • There are no exercises to solve.
  • The tutorial lacks graphics that illustrate the various descriptions.
4/5

#3 SQL for Marketers

SQL for Marketers is an online course by Justin Mares that you can purchase on Udemy. The course consists of videos (over four hours of lectures) and some assignments. It covers:

  1. What SQL is.
  2. How data is structured in SQL.
  3. How the SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY statements work.
  4. How to limit, sort, and join tables.
  5. How to set up SQL tools.
  6. Why you should use SQL.

I did some research about the course author and he describes himself as “on a mission to improve the health and wellness of 1mm+ people over the next decade”. Not sure how this is connected with SQL and marketing. (Justin, if you’re reading this, you need to get your bio fixed.) The guy is definitely smart. But is he good at teaching SQL?

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Don’t get me wrong. Justin could have experience working with SQL, but there’s no info about it. And the way he teaches SQL through the course doesn’t meet best practices: It’s chaotic and jumps from subject to subject.

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of learning marketplaces because you never know who the tutor is – anyone can teach there! The quality of the courses is somewhere between excellent and terrible. But hey, if you like surprises, it’s the right place for you.

Pros

  • The course price (a one-time payment) is fair.
  • The author provides a link to a test database where students can try their SQL queries.
  • The author adds premium content for no extra charge.
  • You will find out how to set up SQL tools on your computer.
  • You get a certificate for completing the course.
  • If you don’t like the course, Justin personally claims to refund your entire purchase amount.

Cons

  • There’s a lot of theory and a little practice.
  • The author doesn’t mention credentials in his bio.
  • There is no dedicated space to try out newly-learned SQL queries.
  • The teaching process is chaotic.
3/5

#4 SQL Basics

SQL Basics at LearnSQL.com is an interactive online course that consists of 129 hands-on exercises. It lets you practice on the go, with everything you need right in the browser. It starts with simple SQL queries performed on a single table and goes deeper into using more advanced SQL functions, including creating simple reports. This course is suitable for people who have no experience with databases. Although they doesn’t use marketing data, the course’s instructions are clear and show how to use SQL to solve day-to-day challenges.

In the SQL Basics course, you will learn how to:

  1. Retrieve information from an SQL database.
  2. Build basic reports from scratch.
  3. Write complex WHERE conditions.
  4. Use the LIKE, ILIKE, IN, and BETWEEN operators.
  5. Work with multiple tables.
  6. Use INNER JOIN, LEFT JOIN, RIGHT JOIN, and FULL OUTER JOIN.
  7. Create simple client reports using GROUP BY and aggregate functions.
  8. Write subqueries and complex instructions.
  9. Understand SQL set operations ( UNION, INTERSECT, and EXCEPT).
LearnSQL.com

After finishing the course, you can practice what you’ve learned or extend your knowledge with further SQL courses; the platform offers plenty of them, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Additionally, LearnSQL.com has a library where you can find many related tutorial articles and cookbooks, e.g. “How to LEFT JOIN Multiple Tables in SQL” or “Data-Driven Marketing with SQL”. There’s lots to be learned there!

Pros

  • LearnSQL.com offers subscription plans at a fair price.
  • No prior SQL or database experience needed.
  • Get hands-on practice writing SQL queries.
  • Receive a certificate of completion when you finish the course.
  • Courses are designed by SQL professionals; they have knowledge backed by experience.

Cons

  • There is no answer key for students. If you get stuck, you have to check the exercise discussion (using the “Disqus” tab) or reach out to LearnSQL support.
  • You won’t learn how to set up SQL tools on your computer.
5/5

Good SQL Courses for Marketers Do Exist

In this article, I’ve reviewed my picks for the best SQL courses for marketers. I hope it helps you choose the right one(s) for your personal needs. SQL is a beast that, if well mastered, levels up your working efficiency.

Do you know any other good SQL course for marketers? Tell us in the comments section.

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