“Data is the new oil”. You might have heard this term several times. Nowadays, almost everything we do generates data in one form or another. Whether we watch Netflix, interact with people on social media, or shop through Amazon and eBay. With every click on these websites, we generate data that are used by these companies to recommend movies, posts, and products we like. Although SQL doesn’t process this data directly, It is very useful in processing the data when they are in a structured format. In this article, we will discuss how SQL works and why you should learn SQL.
What is SQL?
SQL is an acronym for the structured query language. It is a programming language just like Python or Java. While we learn python, Java, or other programming languages to develop software applications, SQL is used to process structured data that is available in a tabular format.
Traditionally, most companies store their data in tabular format in relational databases. This data can only be processed effectively if you know SQL.
Features Of SQL
SQL provides us with a lot of features that help us in processing data. Let us discuss them one by one.
- It helps to remove redundancy in data: When we keep data in the traditional file systems like text files, we cannot make sure that data stored in a text file should not be kept in another text file as we have no mechanism to do so. This results in inefficiency and wastage of resources. To overcome this, SQL provides us with constructs to make sure that there is no duplicate data in the database.
- It helps to remove data that is not useful: Suppose that you have kept bank account details and addresses of your customers in different text files. If any of your customers stop taking your service, you will need to delete their details from each of the files. This can be frustrating and time-consuming as you will have to search data in each file to delete them. On the other hand, you can perform this entire work within seconds if you have stored data in a relational database. SQL provides us ways to relate one data to another so that consistency can be maintained. Whenever we delete an entry from our database, it deletes all the related data automatically. Thus, it helps us to keep only those data in our database that is useful.
- It helps in maintaining data security: Relational databases provide an additional layer of security to your data. You can easily control who can access your data. Using SQL, you can define different data access protocols. You can decide which person can see what data. For instance, A sales team member need not know the details of other employees, but they need to have access to sales data for working. With SQL, you can decide what data they can access, modify, or delete.
Why Should you learn SQL?
Having discussed some primary features of SQL, let us discuss some more reasons why you should learn SQL.
- SQL is easy to learn. You can learn to code in SQL within a week if you know programming in any of the languages like python or java. If you have even the basic understanding of how a computer executes the instructions given by us in computer programs, you will find it very is to learn SQL.
- SQL has a wide range of applications. Whether you are a software developer or a data scientist, you are doing to need SQL at some point or other. Compared to other methods of handling data, SQL is more efficient and popular.
- While analyzing the data, you need better insights. SQL helps you to analyze data in different ways by providing constructs to obtains relationships between the data in a dataset.
- SQL is standardized. It is certified by ISO and ANSI. Also, SQL doesn’t have frequent updates in syntax or basic implementation. So, if you learn it once, you can use it forever without the need to upgrade yourself.
- SQL provides you with data definition language, data manipulation language, and data control language define, manipulate, and control the access to data separately. By writing a single statement, you will be able to grant access or revoke access to any dataset.
- SQL also provides you with ways to perform integrity checks on the databases. You can normalize the databases and remove redundant data easily using just a few lines of code.
- SQL is interactive, scalable, and highly portable. You can work using different machines on a single dataset and it will work smoothly.
Apart from technical aspects, learning SQL can also give you an edge over others in your career. With the knowledge of database management systems and SQL, you can get a salary of more than $130,000 if you have relevant experience.
SQL servers are 3rd most popular database servers as of now. There are millions of jobs including database administrator jobs and database tester jobs apart from data science and software engineering.
Also, there are different database management systems like MySQL, MS- SQL, Oracle, etc. These database management systems use slightly different code but they conform to standard SQL practices. You can choose any of these softwares to start working with SQL.
In this article, we have discussed SQL and its features, We have also discussed why you should learn SQL. You can learn SQL from websites like Udemy or Coursera if you like video tutorials. For text-based tutorials, you can have a look at w3schools.com. It provides easy and concise tutorials that are suitable for learning as well as revision.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Stay tuned for more informative articles.
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