Practical SQL, 2nd Edition: A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling with Data

Practical SQL, 2nd Edition: A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling with Data

by Anthony DeBarros
Practical SQL, 2nd Edition: A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling with Data

Practical SQL, 2nd Edition: A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling with Data

by Anthony DeBarros


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Analyze data like a pro, even if you’re a beginner.

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. Anthony DeBarros, a journalist and data analyst, focuses on using SQL to find the story within your data. The examples and code use the open-source database PostgreSQL and its companion pgAdmin interface, and the concepts you learn will apply to most database management systems, including MySQL, Oracle, SQLite, and others.*

You’ll first cover the fundamentals of databases and the SQL language, then build skills by analyzing data from real-world datasets such as US Census demographics, New York City taxi rides, and earthquakes from US Geological Survey. Each chapter includes exercises and examples that 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
  • Aggregate, sort, and filter data to find patterns
  • Use functions for basic math and advanced statistical operations
  • Identify errors in data and clean them up
  • Analyze spatial data with a geographic information system (PostGIS)
  • Create advanced queries and automate tasks

  • This updated second edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect the latest in SQL features, including additional advanced query techniques for wrangling data. This edition also has two new chapters: an expanded set of instructions on for setting up your system plus a chapter on using PostgreSQL with the popular JSON data interchange format.

    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.

    * Microsoft SQL Server employs a variant of the language called T-SQL, which is not covered by Practical SQL.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9781718501065
    Publisher: No Starch Press
    Publication date: 01/25/2022
    Pages: 464
    Sales rank: 131,031
    Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

    About the Author

    Anthony DeBarros is a longtime journalist who has combined his interests in data analysis, coding, software product development, and storytelling for much of his career. He is a data news editor for The Wall Street Journal, focusing on topics such as the economy, trade, the U.S. Census, and politics. He previously held positions with USA TODAY, the Poughkeepsie Journal, and the DocumentCloud project for Investigative Reporters and Editors. His work has received multiple honors, including a prestigious Silver Baton from the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards.

    Table of Contents


    1. Setting up pgAdmin
    2. Creating Your First Database and Table
    3. Beginning Data Exploration with SELECT
    4. Understanding Data Types
    5. Importing and Exporting Data
    6. Basic Math and Stats
    7. Joining Tables in a Relational Database
    8. Table Design that Works for You
    9. Extracting Information by Grouping and Summarizing
    10. Inspecting and Modifying Data
    11. Statistical Functions in SQL
    12. Working with Dates and Times
    13. Advanced Query Techniques
    14. Mining Text to Find Meaningful Data
    15. Analyzing Spatial Data with PostGIS
    16. Working with JSON Data
    17. Saving Time with Views, Functions, and Triggers
    18. Using PostgreSQL from the Command Line
    19. Maintaining Your Database
    20. Identifying and Telling the Story Behind Your Data

    Appendix A. Additional Resources
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