SQL for Product Managers


The first thing about SQL you should realize is that it's practically ubiquitous. Although you might not notice it, businesses of all sizes utilize SQL to communicate with their databases and access information. Why? Because they cannot make wise business judgments without information.

What is SQL, exactly?

Data in a database is almost never in the format you need it to be in. SQL is a programming language that lets you pull that data and rearrange it: add things together, group over time, replace dollar signs, you name it.

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, but that’s a misnomer; SQL isn’t actually a programming language like Javascript or Python. It’s a standard (like a blueprint) for how to query data, sort of like directions for building a language.

So, why is it so important?

Even the smallest organizations maintain and use huge amounts of data these days. The ability to effectively mine that data and present it in an easily digestible format is indispensable.

If you've ever have tried to take large data sets and analyze them in applications like Excel, you've probably quickly learned about program limitations in dealing with large datasets.Nothing is more frustrating than having a program crash in the midst of performing critical work. SQL is a more robust and faster way to process large data sets and also more rigorously ensures the integrity of the data set.

Not only it has been been around for more than 40 years, it is also the 3rd most popular technical knowledge in general. Many business intelligence tools like Tableu, Looker and PowerBI require SQL knowledge to be able to fully utilize them.

Whether you’re a coder, or in product, analysis, marketing, operations, QA, or even sales  –  SQL will make your life easier and save your time! SQL is unlikely to help product managers come up with ideas for tests. However, it will most definitely help to measure the results and learn from them.

Where to learn SQL from?

The easiest and most reliable way to get better at SQL is – bear with me here – to actually write it. The more SQL you write the better you’ll get. However, it is important to make use of all the free resources that are available on the internet to kickstart your SQL journey. Here is a list of resources that you will find useful.

Interactive Tutorials

SQL is a language that helps you to talk to a database and access the stored information. Even though you’ll want to have the right guidance, anyone can pick it up relatively fast, and the upside of doing so is absolutely worth it.

By automating tedious tasks, your productivity will increase. You can quickly and easily make smarter business decisions with quick access to data. Your job prospects will improve as well as your salary expectations. Learning SQL is worth it.

SQL for Product Managers

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