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5 Best Online SQL Courses for Business Analysts

Why bother to learn via an online SQL course? SQL is pure profit – it allows analysts to interpret data efficiently and companies to adopt better strategies. In this post, we’ll look at our top 5 SQL courses for business analysts.

Being into finance, economics, and IT systems has brought you to business analysis. It’s a fascinating combination of skills; you’re combining business and technology, which makes you a valuable asset to your company.

Being able to work with data is quite an in-demand skill. Think about it: every company collects data. Creating databases and being able to manage the data stored inside is essential. Translating raw data into terms that non-tech people can understand brings data skills to a whole new level. And SQL is the instrument of choice for interacting with data. If you already have some experience in this area, you might want to do yourself a favor and up your SQL game!

Most business professionals have to create a monthly, quarterly, or annual report. And while data is the heart of business strategy, being able to retrieve, process, and understand the information inside a database is what makes an impact. (Maybe you can use this fact to convince your boss to pay for your SQL course. After all, the business needs to keep up with the times!)

Still, no matter who’s paying, resources are usually limited. If money isn’t an object, time certainly is! You want to invest your time and energy into skills that will bring the biggest benefits. Online SQL courses come to mind, and there is an abundance to choose from. Which one will work best for you? I’ve reviewed several e-learning platforms and selected the top SQL courses for business analysts. Here are my picks:

  1. Learn Business Data Analysis with SQL and Tableau (Udemy)
  2. SQL for Business Analysts for Business Analysts (DataCamp)
  3. Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization (Coursera)
  4. Introduction to Data Analytics for Managers (edX)
  5. SQL Reporting (LearnSQL.com)

5 Online SQL Courses for Business Analysts

1. Learn Business Data Analysis with SQL and Tableau (Udemy)

Udemy

Source: Udemy.com

First of all, let’s look at this Udemy course by Data Science Guide Ridha Joudah. It’s a typical video course that consists of four hours of video lessons and three articles. It starts by teaching you the required terminology, commands, and functions. There’s also guidance on installing and using Microsoft SQL Server and the Northwind databases.

Next, the course takes you through the data visualization process in Tableau. It’s the standard beginner-to-advanced-user tutorial. Learning via videos is something I've been fond of for a long time; you can watch it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone whenever you want. I occasionally got stuck in a “don’t blink or you might miss it” situation, watching the tutorial and saying to myself, “Wait, what?”.

Another problem with video tutorials is that they take time – sometimes lots of it. You watch the material (or just listen to it while commuting or doing chores). You practice it, but often not at the same time. Then you jump through the video or transcript to find what you need. It all takes time.

Udemy

Source: Udemy.com

Syllabus:

  1. Install MS SQL Server and Management Studio
  2. SQL queries
  3. Products and inventory data analysis with SQL
  4. Sales and customer data analysis with SQL
  5. Employee and staff data analysis with SQL
  6. Data analysis with Tableau

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Multi-platform streaming
  • Affordable
  • Certificate of completion
  • Updated

Cons:

  • You may need to rewatch videos to grasp concepts.
  • The presentation of the materials needs polishing.
  • Not everyone will find the courses engaging.
  • No integrated practice questions/exercises.

2. SQL for Business Analysts (DataCamp)

DataCamp

Source: DataCamp.com

DataCamp offers this SQL skill track consisting of five courses to people in various areas of business. It should take about 20 hours to complete the video lessons and practice problems.

This course will give you a hands-on look at creating and joining tables, writing queries and subqueries, and using aggregate functions. Each course is taught by a different instructor, and their individual styles may be less or more appealing. Awarding XP (experience points) as you complete tasks helps motivate, so if you’re into RPGs, this one might be for you. Just remember to focus on the material; resist the temptation to plow through it for the reward. At the end of this educational adventure, you get a certificate.

DataCamp

Source: DataCamp.com

Syllabus:

  1. Exploratory data analysis in SQL
  2. Summarizing and aggregating numeric data
  3. Exploring categorical data and unstructured text
  4. Working with dates and timestamps
  5. Introduction to Business Intelligence for an online movie rental database
  6. Decision-making with simple SQL queries
  7. Data-driven decision making with advanced SQL queries
  8. Data-driven decision making with OLAP SQL queries
  9. Use real-world SQL
  10. Find your data
  11. Manage your data
  12. Best practices for writing SQL
  13. Revenue, cost, and profit
  14. User-centric KPIs
  15. ARPU, histograms, and percentiles
  16. Generating an executive report
  17. Exploring the Olympics dataset
  18. Creating reports
  19. Cleaning and validation
  20. Complex calculations

Pros:

  • Write your own queries in the interactive interface
  • Gamification (XP)
  • Certificate of completion

Cons:

  • You might find yourself flipping through windows.
  • Multiple instructors and teaching styles.

3. Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business Specialization (Coursera)

Coursera

Source: Coursera.org

This Coursera Specialization helps you translate business challenges into data questions. It then shows you how to use SQL to find the answers to your questions. The syllabus is broad, so if you are looking to brush up your skills this might be for you. The SQL part provides knowledge to help you understand how data needs to be collected in business contexts. It also helps you identify features to consider if you’re involved in implementing new data collection efforts.

Coursera offers Specializations to help you master a skill. You can enroll in the Specialization directly or pick one of its courses and start it. By subscribing to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization.

In Coursera, every course includes a hands-on project. It’s also a bit more community-based, with features like peer feedback. There’s the option of a self-paced learning process. This is fine, but remember you need to stay motivated. And, like other video-based courses, you may need to rewatch videos to fully grasp the concept being presented.

Syllabus:

  • Business metrics for data-driven companies
  • Mastering data analysis in excel
  • Data visualization and communication with tableau
  • Managing Big Data with MySQL
  • Increasing real estate management profits: Harnessing data analytics (Capstone project)

Pros:

  • A generous amount of knowledge
  • Peer feedback

Cons:

  • Self-paced option requires motivation.
  • Scheduled option must be completed in a limited timeframe.

4. Introduction to Data Analytics for Managers (edX)

edX

Source: edx.org

EdX combines lectures, business cases, and hands-on learning in its courses, and this introduction to data analytics is no different.

In this course, you will learn how companies leverage Big Data and different analytics techniques. It includes a free web-based graphical development environment, so you can practice what you learn without installing any additional software.

This is a self-paced video course. They recommend you take 2-4 hours per week for 6 weeks to finish it. The lectures are conducted by University of Michigan faculty. It's free, but if you want a certificate of completion, you’ll have to pay for it.

edX

Source: edx.org

Syllabus:

  1. Getting started
  2. Introduction to the course
  3. Extract, Transform, Load (Note: This is the SQL part.)
  4. Descriptive analytics
  5. Diagnostic analytics
  6. Predictive analytics
  7. Prescriptive analytics
  8. Prescriptive analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and course wrap-up

Pros:

  • Free, kind of
  • Video with an actual person
  • Convenient transcription presentation

Cons:

  • Only Verified Track learners get a certificate and access to graded assessments of their work.
  • Verified Tracks cost $49US.
  • Timeframe may be limited.

5. LearnSQL.com SQL Reporting

Lastly, we have the SQL reporting track from LearnSQL.com. This one is for people who already have some SQL knowledge and want to up their game. The track’s three interactive courses take you through analyzing, filtering, and comparing data; this will help you unearth data-backed insights. If you don’t know any SQL, we recommend you start with the SQL Basics course and come back to SQL Reporting later.

SQL Reporting

The track starts by practicing complex SQL reports. Next, you will learn about revenue trends in SQL and how to create different revenue reports. Finally, you’ll delve into analyzing customer life cycles. This is a pretty good toolkit for someone who values data-driven decisions and analysis.

All lessons are based on real-life business scenarios, especially for people who focus on market trends, develop sales strategies, and present financial results.

When it comes to business analysis SQL courses, this is a behemoth. It takes around 20 hours to complete the track’s 233 coding challenges. That’s a lot of coding! Good thing that it’s all done within the platform. You don't need to install or configure anything; all you need is a browser and the Internet.

You might encounter some difficulties along the way. If so, you can get a hint or reach out to the team via Disqus. They are there for you.

LearnSQL

Syllabus:

Creating Basic SQL Reports

  1. Introduction
  2. Summarizing data in SQL
  3. Classifying data with CASE WHEN and GROUP BY
  4. Multi-level aggregation
  5. Multiple metrics in one report
  6. Comparing groups in one report

Revenue Trend Analysis in SQL

  1. Computing total revenue for different time periods
  2. Comparing revenue across different periods
  3. Comparing revenue over time across different categories

Customer Behavior Analysis in SQL

  1. Customer registration
  2. Conversion rates
  3. Customer activity
  4. Customer churn
  5. Final quiz

PROS:

  • LearnSQL is subscription-based, so you get access to all LearnSQL courses with just one subscription.
  • Hands-on practice writing SQL queries
  • Certificate included
  • Support from the LearnSQL team and community

CONS:

  • An intimidating number of exercises.
  • You need to be consistent and self-motivated.

How Will You Learn SQL Online?

Well, there you have my list of online courses to help business analysts learn SQL. I hope that it will help you make a decision. If you’re a business analyst or looking to become one, check out all the options and pick the one that is best for you. If you are struggling with your choice, don’t let worry paralyze you. Get a free trial. Test the waters. It’s okay to change your mind in the process. Just remember to never stop learning SQL until you’ve mastered it. Trust me, it will pay off to be consistent.

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