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Growing a successful business means keeping a large quantity of records. At the very least, we have to keep track of our customers, employees, and transactions. When we are only working with small amounts of data, well-loved tools like Excel get the job done. Successful business growth means increases in records, and eventually we outgrow the capabilities of simple spreadsheet programs.
Enter SQL (Structured Query Language), which is the standard language for relational database management systems such as Oracle, Access, and Microsoft SQL Server. Though at first glance SQL can appear intimidating, there are many online tools available to help you get started.
Choices for Online SQL Training
These ten resources - many of which are low-cost or free - are helpful in becoming familiar with SQL to maximize data use for business improvement.
- Udemy - This is great online resource with a stated mission to “help anyone learn anything.” Frequent promotions bring course prices down, and there are currently more than 40 SQL courses available for all levels of expertise.
- SQLZoo - Those that prefer extensive personal support enjoy these courses, which offer step-by-step tutorials and live chat.
- CodeAcademy - This organization is committed to bringing technical skills to everyone through a unique online platform. Begin with the basics in CodeAcademy’s “Learn SQL” series, then move on to a robust data analysis program with “SQL: Analyzing Business Metrics.”
- Stanford University - Yes, that Stanford offers an online course rich with video instruction. These short tutorials offer you quick training on basic SQL skills.
- Tutorialspoint - This group created an extensive collection of online courses that range from beginner to very advanced. The menu permits you to pick and choose from a list of skills, so you can tailor your learning to your individual needs. Folks who like to read will enjoy the textbook-heavy teaching style.
- Khan Academy - This group offers a site that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Like Tutorialspoint, each SQL skill is listed separately, making it easy to design your own learning program.
- LearntoSQL - This site is focused on extensive hands-on learning opportunities. Courses are set up for beginners, experienced users, and those that need refresher training, so you can choose the best option based on your current challenges.
- Ed2Go - It’s a little pricey, but this self-paced tutorial offers plenty of extra support. The SQL course is designed for those with no previous experience, so you begin with basic skills and move ahead as each is mastered.
- Lynda - Choose from several complete online classes, or watch demonstration videos that are designed to provide support for specific SQL skills.
- DBA Republic - In addition to offering SQL training, this community-style resource offers a large selection of articles and posts from SQL users addressing frequently asked questions.
Working through the classes and tutorials available online will prepare you to search and analyze your business data. Handling large amounts of data properly is critical to business success, and smart data mining can lead to insights that directly impact the bottom line.
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