December 6, 2023

SQL Roadmap for Data Science - A Comprehensive Guide

Interested in becoming an SQL expert? Our guide is here to help! Whether you're just starting or want to boost your skills, we've got a roadmap that breaks down SQL in simple steps. Let's navigate this learning journey together!

A data analyst must be capable of analyzing and handling large amounts of data in today's data era. Structured Query Language (SQL) is a powerful tool for analyzing large datasets, allowing data professionals to gain valuable insights. It is the backbone of database management, powering the storage, retrieval, and manipulation of data in a vast array of applications. If you're interested in handling data and analyzing it, learning SQL is really important.

Also, there's a growing demand for people who know how to use SQL. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, SQL developers are expected to experience a 25 % job growth rate from 2021 to 2031. So, if you want to work in jobs like data science, data analysis, or as an SQL developer, knowing SQL is a skill you should have on your resume.

Becoming proficient in SQL can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. This comprehensive guide will  walk you through all the important steps to become a SQL master and make your  career in data a success.

What is SQL 

It is  a programming language that is used to manage and manipulate data in relational databases. It is used to query, or ask questions of, a database. It allows users to retrieve, update, and manipulate data stored in a relational database.

What is a database? 

In databases, data is organized so that it can be stored, retrieved, and managed efficiently. The data in relational databases is organized into tables and each table contains a specific type of data.

A Step by Step Guide to learn SQL

Step 1 : Understanding the Basics

1. Learn about database management system

  •  Install  the database environment 

SQL is used with a Database Management System (DBMS) like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, or SQLite. Install it on your machine by following the instructions: How to Install SQL Server 2022 + SQL Server Management Studio

  • Learn about data types, primary & foreign keys and constraints as they are important for creating accurate and efficient databases. 

2. Get familiar with table manipulation techniques

This is necessary in order to create, modify, and manage tables. Important commands include: 

  • CREATE  Table: Makes a new table in the database
  • INSERT: To add new table records
  • UPDATE: To modify existing records
  • DELETE:To remove some record
  • ALTER TABLE: To modify the structure of the existing table.

3. Learn  basic commands  for data retrieval

Understand how to get information from a database using simple commands.Some important commands are:

  • SELECT : To select a particular column or columns from a table.
  • WHERE Clauses: To filter data based on a specified condition.
  • Operators : Used for comparison 
  • ORDER BY: The ORDER BY clause sorts the result set based on one or more columns, either in ascending  or descending order.
  • FROM : specifies the table or tables to retrieve data from
Learning Resources

Get started with learning  basic SQL here: 


Step 2: Learn intermediate SQL functions and techniques

SQL functions, essential for data manipulation and analysis. 

  • String functions help in efficient handling of text data, using operations like concatenation and substring extraction.
  • Aggregate functions, such as SUM and AVG, enable the calculation of summary statistics for groups of data.
  • GROUP BY Clause:For categorizing data into groups based on specified columns.
  • HAVING Clause: Works together  with the GROUP By clause to filter grouped results based on specific conditions.
  • Datetime Functions:These functions allow you to extract components like day or month, and perform date arithmetic.

Step 3: Level up with  advanced SQL  

Learn advanced SQL techniques like joining tables, combining results, using subqueries, and more with recommended tutorials for practical skills improvement. 

  • Joins: Helps to merge data from different tables based on a common condition resulting in creation of new columns.
  • Union : Used to merge the outcome of two or more SELECT statements.
  •  Subquery: It is a query inside another query. Used to get data from two tables.
  •  Window functions : Gives  access to features like advanced analytics and data manipulation without the need to write complex queries.
  • Common table expressions: It's a temporary result set with a name, generated from a basic SELECT statement, and can be utilized in a following SELECT statement.
Learning Resources : 
  1. Advanced SQL Tutorial 2023 | SQL Training | SQL Database Tutorial  | Simplilearn
  2. Learn Advanced SQL | Kaggle  
  3. Practice SQL here: Problems - LeetCode

Step 4: Learn Database Design and Optimization 

Creating a good database and making your queries work well are really important when you're dealing with big sets of data. Find out about ways to organize your database (like normalization) to avoid repeating data and to make sure everything stays accurate. Learn about indexing, which can make your queries run faster. Also, check out more advanced tricks like understanding how your queries get executed and tuning them up to make them work better in SQL.

1. Build Real Real-world Projects   

Practicing with a sample database is an effective way to learn SQL. Here are some  free sample databases to practice and improve your SQL skills:

2. Continuous Learning

  • To stay updated about SQL and data analysis regularly check online communities, blogs, and forums.  
  • Use books, online courses, and videos to learn more. Here are some resources to help you get started: 
Courses : 
  1. SQL for Data Analysis | Udacity
  2. Learn Intro to SQL | Kaggle

  1. Intro to SQL: Querying and managing data | Khan Academy
  2. SQLZoo

YouTube Channels :

1. | 8.62 M Subscribers                                      

SQL Tutorial - Full Database Course for Beginners       

2. edureka!| 3.88 M Subscribers

SQL Full Course In 10 Hours | SQL Tutorial | Complete SQL Course For Beginners | Edureka

Step 5: Certification 

Get professional  certifications to increase credibility and advance your  career. Here are some of the best certifications to go for: 

  1. OCA Oracle Database SQL Certification Path | Steps to get Certified
  2. PostgreSQL 12 Associate Certification | EDB  
  3. 08003506: IBM Certified Database Associate - DB2 11.1 Fundamentals for LUW


Aspiring data analysts must learn SQL, since it forms the basis of data management and analysis. Follow this comprehensive roadmap to learn SQL for data analysis, starting with the basics and moving ahead to the more advanced concepts. Don’t forget to practice with real-world datasets and continually stay up-to-date with the latest advancements. Happy learning!

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