Practical SQL

Practical SQL oi
A Beginner’s Guide to Storytelling with Data
by 
Anthony DeBarros
February 2018, 320 pp.
ISBN-13: 
978-1-59327-827-4

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Practical SQL is an approachable and fast-paced guide to SQL (Structured Query Language), the standard programming language for defining, organizing, and exploring data in relational databases. The book focuses on using SQL to find the story your data tells, with the popular open-source database PostgreSQL and the pgAdmin interface as its primary tools.

You’ll first cover the fundamentals of databases and the SQL language, then build skills by analyzing data from the U.S. Census and other federal and state government agencies. With exercises and real-world examples in each chapter, this book will teach even those who have never programmed before all the tools necessary to build powerful databases and access information quickly and efficiently.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create databases and related tables using your own data
  • Define the right data types for your information
  • Aggregate, sort, and filter data to find patterns
  • Use basic math and advanced statistical functions
  • Identify errors in data and clean them up
  • Import and export data using delimited text files
  • Write queries for geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Create advanced queries and automate tasks

Learning SQL doesn’t have to be dry and complicated. Practical SQL delivers clear examples with an easy-to-follow approach to teach you the tools you need to build and manage your own databases.

This book uses PostgreSQL, but the SQL syntax is applicable to many database applications, including Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL.

Author Bio 

Anthony DeBarros is an award-winning data journalist whose career spans 30 years at news organizations including USA TODAY and Gannett’s Poughkeepsie Journal. A longtime member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, he is a frequent speaker at its data journalism conferences. He is currently a vice president overseeing digital content and product for a leading global business information company and holds a master’s degree in computer science and information systems from Marist College.

Table of contents 

Introduction
Chapter 1: Creating Your First Database and Table (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 2: Beginning Data Exploration with SELECT (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 3: Understanding Data Types (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 4: Importing and Exporting Data (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 5: Basic Math and Stats with SQL (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 6: Table Joins in a Relational Database (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 7: Table Design that Works for You (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 8: Extracting Information by Grouping and Summarizing
Chapter 9: Inspecting and Modifying Data
Chapter 10: Statistical Functions in SQL
Chapter 11: Working with Dates and Times
Chapter 12: Advanced Query Techniques
Chapter 13: Extracting Data from Text
Chapter 14: Analyzing Spatial Data with PostGIS
Chapter 15: Saving Time with Views, Functions, and Triggers
Chapter 16: PostgreSQL from the Command Line
Chapter 17: Database Maintenance