All you need to know about SQL

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By Inversa Technosoft

What is SQL?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a standardized way of asking a specific question from a database, which fetches the required result. It is about writing questions that a computer can understand. Most databases cannot figure out meaning from questions that we normally ask. A simple question like, how many people in the winning team asked for shirts, can be understood easily by humans. But a database will not understand this same question, and will give result as a blank.

SQL breaks down the question into a series of smaller questions, and structures it in such a way that a database can understand it, and knows how to respond to it. SQL has been adopted into many database products, like T-SQL, MySQL, SQL Server, PostGreSQL, SQLite, and others.

“I am working as a Report Analyst in a MNC Company and the only tool I use for work in Microsoft Excel. I am cleaning data, making graphs, creating complicated dashboards using micros and its fun”

What is the use and role of SQL?

Companies need to manage their database. A database is a collection of individual data items. This can be stored in a single location in hard drive, or can be distributed across large networks which have components in many physical locations. We should be able to create new data items, read existing data, update database with new information and delete out-dated data items.

Using the SQL queries, the user can quickly and efficiently retrieve a large amount of records from a database. It is very easy to manage the database system, as it does not require a substantial amount of code to manage the database system. Further, SQL can be used in laptop, PCs, server and even some mobile phones.

SQL interacts with multiple data tables that refer to one another, in order to store lots of information relating to a single company. Using SQL, we can dig deep into the database, and find different kinds of information, in different ways. For example, from a database of books, we can search by topic, by book name and by author name. All these searches will finally converge on the same output, since all the tables refer to one another, to provide the final output. SQL is used to manage database of small business applications to large corporate systems.

What is the use and role of SQL in Data Science?

Analysts who work in data science, constantly need to pull data from database, to prepare their reports. They cannot rely on IT department to get them the data, as IT department will be busy with their own tasks. Analysts should be able to retrieve the data themselves. This can be done by writing SQL codes. With SQL, analysts will be able to pull data out of the database. At the same time, they will be able to manipulate it, merge it, multiply it, group it, and reformat it, to get just the reports they want.

Data science is all about data analysis, using mathematics and statistics, and providing business solutions. But without having the data itself, data science becomes meaningless. Hence, SQL plays a primary role in data science.