I can’t even imagine how it must have been for businessmen back in the day when they didn’t have access to Excel – having to calculate and record everything by hand into leather bound ledgers using quill pens and how tedious and inefficient it must have been (except I secretly wish I could use a quill pen for all my homework so that I could fantasize I’m at Hogwarts). But then I learned about SQL and it BLEW MY MIND – my face kind of looked like Ron’s here:
SQL pretty much puts Excel back in the dark ages right next to doing everything by hand.
What exactly is SQL and how does it change our business life?
Simply put, SQL (sometimes pronounced as “sequel”) is a database language that lets you communicate with your database. An article by Vault Analytics explains the impact it has exceptionally well: “with it, there is no more downloading endless worksheets, manipulating them by hand, and doing complicated analysis that is not easily reproducible. You can communicate directly with the database, extract exactly what you need, and because your procedure is there written in code and not lost in a series of manual copies, pastes, and filters, you can re-run it at any time and easily find and fix errors in your process.” Trying to do all of this in the past using Excel meant that you would be looking forward to a day full of frustration since it’s easy to make mistakes with Excel, but not so easy to rerun or fix.
So why as a marketer is it so important to learn SQL when we could easily just let a Dev deal with this since it is, after all, part of their job description?
The thing is, Devs have way bigger issues to deal with and if you can work with SQL yourself, you’re not only going to save yourself a lot of time waiting for the Devs to get around to it, but you will be allowing them to work on what’s more important for them. Plus, if you can do it yourself, you will really stand out and shine at work.
SQL is kind of like the marketers Patronus: A Patronus can save a wizzard from dementors sucking out their soul. Think about how it feels after a long day of manually slaving over Excel spreadsheets, only to find that you made an error that will take hours to fix, it literally feels like the computer monitor has sucked out your soul. Not only that, but like in Harry Potter where only a few wizards knew how to perform a Patronus spell, a very small percentage of marketers know how to do SQL. And lets face it – everyone these days is trying to get a marketing job, so why not be included in the 1% of marketers who can actually do this stuff?
Inspiring? Take advantage of this free tutorial and learn SQL!
Other cool SQL reads: