SQL Essential Skills

Date: 22 June 2021 
Time: 2-5pm
Instructor: Peter Smyth
Level: Introductory
Fee: £30 


This SQL Essential Skills workshop is for any researcher who has tabular data they want to analyse using an SQL environment. No prior computational experience is required. This hands-on workshop provides an introduction to the SQL Select command which will allow the researcher to filter and aggregate their data as well as joining related tabular datasets into single tables. These simple SQL commands will allow basic EDA type functions to be performed as well as providing indications of missing data in the datasets. In addition to the Select command, we will also cover creating new tables in a database by importing csv files.

Course objectives

On completion of this workshop, the participants will be able to;

  • Understand what a database table is
  • Use the DB Browser for SQLite software to create an SQLite database and import data into tables
  • Understand the various components of the SQL Select command to filter and aggregate data in tables
  • Understand what a table join is, how to perform them in SQLite and what they can tell you about your data

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to create SQLite databases using the DB Browser for SQLite software and create tables by importing csv or similarly formatted tabular data files.

They will have enough SQL knowledge to filter the table data by rows or columns, create aggregations, join tables, identify missing data items and get indications of possible outliers in the data.



Recommended reading

SQL Primer: An Accelerated Introduction to SQL Basics, Rahul Batra (New York: Apress, 2018) (ISBN 9781484235768): chapters 5, 8-11.

About the instructor

Peter Smyth is a Research Associate at the University of Manchester, based in the Cathie Marsh Institute. He has spent 35 years working in IT at various large and small commercial organisations before taking an MSc in Big Data Analytics at Sheffield Hallam University and moving into academia. In his previous roles, he used any convenient programming environment to hand to solve problems. Now he teaches a variety of programming languages to help others to do the same.

He is a qualified Data and Software Carpentry instructor.