Science and technology

New e book teaches readers easy methods to inform knowledge tales with PostgreSQL

SQL databases may be daunting however can be very enjoyable if you understand how to make use of them. The info contained in a database can present many insights to somebody who is aware of easy methods to correctly question and manipulate the info. Practical SQL, 2nd Edition: A Beginner’s Guide to Storytelling with Data by Anthony DeBarros teaches readers easy methods to just do that.

The content material

DeBarros, presently an information editor on the Wall Street Journal, pulls from his sensible expertise in journalism to show readers easy methods to inform tales with knowledge. The e book consists of an introduction, 20 chapters, and a number of other appendices. The introduction units the tone for the e book, explaining what the e book is about and who it’s for, and the 20 chapters educate classes about numerous database subjects. Chapter 1 is the normal “how to set up your environment” chapter and covers easy methods to set up PostgreSQL on Windows, macOS, or Linux (particularly, Ubuntu). The following chapters cowl the fundamentals of working with SQL databases, like creating databases and tables, performing primary queries, understanding knowledge sorts, importing and exporting knowledge, and primary math and stats features. The chapters then progress to extra complicated subjects like becoming a member of tables and extracting, inspecting, and modifying knowledge. By the time the reader reaches the e book’s midpoint, they need to have a stable understanding of how databases work.

The chapters within the second half of the e book, beginning with chapter 11, discover superior subjects.

  • Chapter 11 covers statistical features.
  • Chapter 12 explains easy methods to work with dates and time.
  • Chapter 13 teaches superior question methods.
  • Chapter 14 explores textual content mining options.
  • Chapter 15 seems at analyzing spatial knowledge utilizing PostGIS.
  • Chapter 16 explains easy methods to work with JSON knowledge.
  • Chapter 17 reveals easy methods to use views, features, and triggers.
  • Chapter 18 discusses utilizing PostgreSQL from the command line.
  • Chapter 19 covers database upkeep.

The remaining chapter, Chapter 20: Telling Your Data’s Story, shifts away from the sensible facets of chapters one by way of 19 towards offering recommendation about telling tales utilizing knowledge. Again, Debarros pulls from his expertise as a journalist to supply classes concerning the whys, hows, and greatest practices of doing knowledge journalism or knowledge storytelling. If chapters one by way of 19 are the instruments within the toolbox, chapter 20 is a pattern blueprint that can encourage the reader to create their very own undertaking.

The workouts

There are SQL recordsdata and different supplemental assets for the workouts in every chapter within the e book’s GitHub Repository, aside from chapter 20, which has no actions. The repository additionally comprises a file with options for every of the “try it yourself” end-of-chapter workouts.

The workouts all through the e book are all very attention-grabbing. While the earliest chapters are understandably primary (there are solely so some ways to show CREATE DATABASE and CREATE TABLE), they supply a wonderful basis for the extra superior subjects later within the e book. The superior workouts use real-world knowledge to offer verisimilitude to the educational expertise. The database of selection for Practical SQL, 2nd Edition is PostgreSQL, however the e book makes some mentions of various databases when issues may work in another way. However, it is rather a lot a PostgreSQL e book, so that’s one thing to bear in mind.

Final ideas

Practical SQL, 2nd Edition is a well-written and informative e book that may assist somebody start to grasp SQL. Even extra importantly, it’s an especially pleasurable e book that can maintain the reader engaged with attention-grabbing, thought-provoking workouts. Anyone interested by studying the ins and outs of PostgreSQL ought to contemplate selecting up this e book. The e book’s solely disadvantage is that it’s a PostgreSQL e book, not a database-agnostic e book, so anybody making an attempt to be taught MySQL, MariaDB, or another SQL-based database may need to select a e book that focuses on that specific database. The total “Guide to Storytelling with Data” classes are one thing a reasonably skilled MySQL, MariaDB, and so on. can apply to their database of selection, however this e book will not be the best first e book for studying a non-PostgreSQL database. That one caveat emptor apart, I extremely suggest Practical SQL, 2nd Edition to anybody desirous to be taught PostgreSQL and easy methods to inform tales with knowledge.

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