why you should learn sql

A:360 Podcast #6 – Why Everyone Should Learn SQL

Today’s “A:360” discusses why as many people as possible should learn SQL. SQL, Structured Query Language, is the primary language used to interact with a database and is a critical foundation for analytics knowledge. Between strong career earnings and self-sufficiency, SQL is a skill everyone should learn.

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Hey everyone. Welcome to today’s A:360. My name is Brewster Knowlton, and today we’re going to be talking about why as many people as possible should be learning SQL.

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and it’s the primary language responsible for managing data and data structures contained within relational database systems. So anytime you are trying to retrieve data from a database, add data to a database or make any modifications to the data structures, you’re probably going to be using some variant of the SQL language.

Let’s dig into the first reason why I believe you should learn SQL. First, you can earn some great money. The earnings potential for somebody with strong SQL skills is pretty significant. If you’re a financial analyst or anybody who is an Excel guru but lacks SQL knowledge, learning SQL might be the next step for you to really progress your career and identify an opportunity for a high earning job.

Along with the high earning potential, SQL is one of the most sought after skills by employers that are hiring. This makes sense given the emphasis on analytics and the growth of data. This would imply that employers are looking for more and more individuals who have the talent to retrieve data from a database using SQL and know what to do with it.

Along with the career-oriented reasons for learning SQL, another reason that you might want to learn SQL is because it enables you to get an answer to any question that you ask. If you’re an inquisitive person and want to know as much as possible about your business, SQL enables you to think of questions and then get an answer to those questions without having to go to a bunch of different people trying to find the answers.

If you’re somebody who works with Excel a lot, how many times have you worked with a really big spreadsheet, tried to create some formula or do some operation, and then Excel crashes? Now yes, it’s gotten better with newer versions, but it still happens. SQL eliminates that crashing. By writing a SQL query or building some type of SQL code or script and running it against a database, that system is designed to process millions and millions (and millions!) of rows very quickly. It’s designed to be efficient for a lot of the queries you’re going to write. So, if you’re somebody who has to deal with Excel crashing frequently because of the volume or types of operations you try to do with data, SQL is going to enable you overcome those obstacles and be more efficient.

The last reason we’re going to talk about as to why you should learn SQL is that it enables you to never have to ask yourself a question like, “How did I make that report again?”

SQL queries can be saved and easily rerun at any point in time. If there is something that has many steps to it or is a little bit more complicated, instead of having to redo all your work, you can save that query. When you need to run it again you just simply open it up and execute it.
While there are certainly some things you can do within Excel to be more efficient with your reports and automate certain things (through VBA, PowerPivot or something like that) SQL is going to make that process much, much easier. So again, SQL is going to enable you to be incredibly efficient and not waste any time by redoing manual processes that could simply be opened up from your saved query, executed, and, voila, you have your results.

Wrapping up, you should learn SQL because of these five points:

  • It offers a higher earning potential.
  • It’s one of the most in demand skills
  • It empowers you to answer your own questions of your data
  • You will rarely have to deal with Excel crashing if you write your queries in SQL against the database
  • You won’t have to redo nearly as much manual effort because you can save your queries, easily open, and then rerun them at any time.

If you are interested in learning SQL, we have a great course out there on the online learning platform, Udemy. The course is called Microsoft SQL for Beginners, and it’s a great first course to dip your toes into learning SQL and we try to break it down and make it very, very simple. I’ll include that link in the transcription and you can find it on our website in various different places. So, keep an eye out for that and if you’re interested in learning SQL, I highly recommend you take a look at that course.

That’s it for today! Thanks again for listening to today’s A:360.

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Posted in DW/BI, SQL Lessons, SQL Tips, Strategy.

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