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How to Boost Your Company With SQL Courses

SQL has the power to supercharge the capabilities and performance of your entire company. But if you don’t dip your toes in the water and give some SQL courses a go, you’ll never realize the vast potential of the language.

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is your ticket to expanding the scope and the results of your business or organization, no matter what sector you operate in. Whether you’re the owner or manager of your company or simply an employee interested in improving operations, learning SQL is undoubtedly, unquestionably, for you.

We’ve put together this short guide to help you see how simple SQL courses can have a major impact on the success of your business in a very short space of time.

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What Is SQL, and Why Is it Useful?

SQL isn’t “just another programming language” used in a vacuum by software developers and technical whizz kids. SQL helps users, from developers to marketers to your old Aunt Emily, form queries and retrieve information from databases. SQL uses a special syntax to form those queries and helps you access and manage vast databases, far beyond the capabilities of your average Excel spreadsheet.

Learning SQL is not just the folly of people looking to make a career in that field. SQL is a skill that has applications in a wide range of jobs and industries:

  • Analytics. Analytics is everything. Our worlds revolve around data whether we see it or not, and businesses large and small need efficient and effective ways of making that data work for Whether you need to perform financial analyses or market analyses in your line of work, SQL will make your results a lot, LOT, better.
  • Healthcare. The healthcare industry is a minefield of databases, all carrying important, highly-sensitive information. If you work in healthcare and deal at all with data, do yourself (and your organization) a big favor and make the switch from Excel to SQL ASAP.
  • Marketing. Marketers don’t simply pick random products off shelves and make Facebook Ads about them. They now need to be extremely analytics-savvy. Marketing, especially in the Age of Data, is an art and a science rolled into one, and these jobs are increasingly seeking applicants with SQL prowess.
  • Sales. Just like in marketing, the world of sales is no longer the stomping ground of fast-talking slick suits. Sales is all about smart analysis of customer sets, collecting and analyzing data about potential clients, their needs, their preferences, their revenue, and their pain points. If you are in sales, then taking some SQL courses will help you make offers your customers absolutely can’t refuse.
  • Finance and Accounting. People in finance and accounting deal with data for days. They often help their clients make important financial decisions based on company insights. When that data sits in spreadsheets, it is very difficult to run effective analyses and draw meaningful conclusions. SQL is used by many in finance and accounting to help companies maximize revenue.
  • Science. Like those in healthcare, finance, and accounting, scientists deal with hundreds of thousands, if not millions and billions, of pieces of data each and every year. There’s no denying that regular spreadsheets just don’t stack up to this kind of use. Databases, tables, and SQL are the only suitable ways of dealing with this sort of information load. If you work in the sciences and haven’t learned SQL yet, it’s time to get started.
  • Logistics. Logistics companies make the world go round. From freight to transportation to city services and infrastructure, those working in logistics deal with huge amounts of data on a day-to-day basis, helping products get from Point A to Point B and keeping the systems ticking. Only SQL can help employees in this field to properly track and manage the huge amounts of data in their care.
  • Library Sciences. Not every librarian needs to know SQL, true, but if you deal a lot with metadata and your library’s software systems, then learning SQL is certainly a skill worth having. Librarians are very well suited to learning SQL – querying information is what they do best!
  • Education. Just like the science and healthcare realms, education is a vast industry with mountains of data that needs storing, crunching, and caring for. From academic research to student records and results, many employees working within the education sector can benefit from a basic knowledge of SQL query writing.

This is just a tiny handful of the jobs that use SQL. There are roles across all these industries (and many more) where even basic SQL knowledge can prove a huge boost to performance and outcomes.

Managers and employees alike will often hold back from learning SQL due to a misguided perception that it is difficult to learn and unnecessary. In reality, SQL is one of the easiest languages to grasp thanks to its intuitive English-centric syntax. If you want to see just how achievable it is to gain foundational SQL knowledge, then check out this fantastic SQL Fundamentals course which will have you up and running with SQL in no time at all.

If you want to learn a little more about SQL, I highly recommend watching these videos by my lovely colleague Adrian Wiech, or starting with his introductory explanation below.

SQL courses add another string to almost any company’s bow and are a learning opportunity well worth the investment.

But Why Doesn’t Excel Cut the Mustard?

Excel is great; it does what it says on the tin. But Excel simply can’t do what SQL does. It’s a different beast, made for a totally different level of data storage and manipulation.

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Here are the top 6 reasons that Excel probably doesn’t make sense for all of your company’s data needs:

  1. Excel always crashes. Enough said. Nobody likes the spinning wheel of doom.
  2. Excel is slow to handle commands. This is one of those things that once you know, you know. Try a few SQL projects and you’ll quickly come to realize how much faster and more efficient SQL really is.
  3. It’s too easy to make accidental changes using Excel. The beauty of SQL querying is that it’s traceable. If something goes wrong, you can figure out where the issue lies. With Excel, data is stored in individual cells, making it easy for accidental manipulation that you didn’t even notice happening.
  4. It’s hard to replicate analyses on new data. One of SQL’s best features is the ability to save and store queries and use them again and again on new data. This isn’t a reality with Excel; you’ll need to apply formulae over and over to get your desired result.
  5. Excel makes it hard to work collaboratively. Sending spreadsheets back and forth between team members just doesn’t work when the file involved is groaning at the seams with information. It’s messy, inefficient, and all-too easy for things to go wrong.
  6. Excel doesn’t offer as many options for analyzing data. SQL is the queen of data analysis and outperforms Excel at every turn when it comes, for example, to extracting lists containing multiple categories.

In a nutshell, working with Excel generally looks like this:

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In contrast, working with SQL looks like this:

  • Data is stored within tables in a relational database.
  • SQL queries are sets of instructions that tell the database what information you’re looking for.
  • When you query a database, you get results quickly and accurately, no matter how complex your request.

Pretty simple, right?

SQL in a nutshell

How SQL Courses Can Help Your Company

If you’re sitting on the fence about introducing SQL into your company, I’m here to push you off it.

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Simply put, Excel is unlikely to do everything your company needs to really thrive. It’s easy for me to say and harder for you to imagine, but you simply won’t grasp how clunky Excel spreadsheets are until you get a good handle on what SQL queries can do for you.

Teaching employees how to query the data about the business has become commonplace in many companies, even if the business already has an analytics department. Whether you’re a manager or employee, there are countless reasons to learn SQL and start applying that knowledge in your business.

Managers: READ THIS

Many companies choose a group of employees to run through some basic SQL courses. Doing so helps employees:

  • Understand the importance of data and analytics to their role,
  • Produce better outcomes for the company, and
  • Take a load off IT departments, increase their expertise and independence, and reduce database-related backlogs.

And all for very, very little cost. Our SQL courses are not only comprehensive but affordable, too. And if you want a customized SQL course for your team or for a select group of employees, just let us know. We often draw up tailored SQL courses for businesses around the world, so that your employees get a learning solution that works for them. The great news is that with all our SQL courses, you, the manager, are in full control of the process and can track progress at any point.

We recommend starting your staff off on our SQL Basics course, before running through some SQL Reporting skills and perhaps some more advanced lessons. Training your staff to use SQL may just be the smartest move you ever make for your company!

Employees: READ THIS

Want to learn SQL but not sure if you can get it across the line with your bosses? Keep pushing!

Whatever your exact role is, you’ll no doubt find yourself dealing with data every single day: from information about products, suppliers, customers, patients, students, services, and orders. All of this data requires storing and careful managing. More than that, your data needs using. Unused data is potential profit and success down the drain.

Learning SQL will not only help you succeed in your current role but also get new and better roles in the future. SQL skills are in high demand by employers, not just in the tech and data fields, but in marketing, administration, and sales, to name just a few.

To get started in SQL, you:

  • Don’t need a tech background,
  • Don’t need to be an IT specialist, and
  • Don’t need to be working with data day in, day

Not only are SQL skills something you can pick up quickly and easily, SQL is the most widely used database language in the whole world. This means that when you know SQL, you can work with almost any relational database you’ll ever stumble across. How’s that for a useful skill?

SQL in a nutshell

How to Get Started With SQL Courses for Your Company

So, how do you take that first step and get the SQL ball rolling?

Contrary to popular perceptions, getting started with SQL need not be an expensive affair. While there are a number of paid solutions, there are also open-source solutions, too. These can be just as good, if not better than those that require some financial investment.

Here’s how to get started with SQL depending on the database you decide to use:

  • Oracle. Oracle is a well-respected RDMS (Relational Database Management System) that caters primarily to the larger companies that can afford the eye-watering licensing costs that can run anywhere from the tens of thousands to millions of dollars. Probably not worth the cost for most businesses, but it’s worth knowing about this giant to understand just how much value companies place in the management of their data.
  • MS SQL Server. Microsoft SQL Server, like Oracle, requires users to buy a license which can similarly cost thousands of dollars. If it’s worth it to your business, then MS SQL Server is well liked for its various editions, as well as great documentation and support. You can read more about the pros and cons of MS SQL Server here.
  • MySQL. By contrast, MySQL is an open-source relational database – the most widely used in the world. Fast, powerful and competent with large datasets, MySQL is used by a huge number of small and large businesses alike.
  • PostgreSQL. One of our favorite options for an RDMS to sink your teeth into is PostgreSQL. Postgres has been developed over the last 25 years by a vibrant open source community. This means there’s lots of support out there for users (of which there are many). Postgres’ indexes are incredibly efficient for complex queries. And it’s fully extensible; you can customize it for your team’s unique needs at no cost to you. To get started using PostgreSQL, head over to the official website. If you want to read a “how to” first, my colleague Ignacio has written a great guide to installing PostgreSQL on Windows in just 5 minutes.

SQL Courses to Help Your Team

Now that you’re convinced learning SQL is a good idea for colleagues or staff within your business, there are a number of SQL courses that can help you get started.

If it’s just a handful of staff needing to learn the fundamentals of SQL, then the SQL Basics course is a great place to get the ball rolling. It’s an inexpensive, comprehensive beginners course that helps even the non-technical among us grasp the core concepts involved in SQL, get started writing queries, and work with data. If you’ll be working with PostgreSQL, then this SQL fundamentals in PostgreSQL is the best place to begin.

For those who’ve already got the knack for writing simple SQL queries, this SQL Reporting course is the best way to move towards more complex, multilevel SQL report writing. This is a great course for data analysts, marketers, accountants, or business owners who want to learn how to draw more accurate conclusions from their data. SQL Reporting will help you analyze, filter, and compare data, allowing you to make the best strategic decisions for your company.

If you have a whole team of employees needing to learn SQL or need a customized learning solution for your business, let us know your needs and we will get back to you with a made-to-measure course based on your organization’s unique data structure and metrics.

Happy learning, everybody!

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