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What Is SQL Used For?


SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is a standard programming language used for managing and manipulating relational databases. In today’s digital age, SQL plays a crucial role in managing data for businesses and organizations of all sizes. That’s why any up and coming programmer who wants to know “what is SQL used for?” should take a SQL course.


So, what is SQL used for? SQL is used in a wide range of industries, including finance, healthcare, retail, and technology, to name a few. It’s important because it enables businesses to store, organize, and retrieve data efficiently and effectively. With the help of SQL, companies can make informed decisions based on the data they collect, which can help improve their bottom line.


This article aims to answer the question “what is SQL used for?”, as well as what SQL is, why it’s important, and how it’s used in various industries and roles. Whether you’re a data analyst, database administrator, or software developer, understanding SQL is essential for working with data.

Table of Contents

What Is SQL Used for?

The purpose of SQL (often pronounced “sequel”) is to store, access, organize, and work with data within a database. It allows you to query a database using near-English statements and can be optimized to quickly run very large queries.

Is SQL Better Than Excel?

While people use SQL and Excel for similar purposes, they are different things. 


Excel is an excellent program for visually organizing data and running simple manipulations on that data. However, it does not have the relational power that SQL gives you to make queries across multiple tables.

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The purpose of SQL is to store, access, organize, and work with data within a database.

Where Is SQL Used in Real Life?

SQL is used in most databases that need to store data that relates to other data. For example, companies like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat use SQL to store user data and update and change user information.

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What Is SQL?

SQL (Structured Query Language) is the standard programming language for accessing and manipulating databases. SQL provides human-readable syntax that allows developers, data scientists, product developers, and others to update, edit, and retrieve information from databases.


A database is a set of tables containing rows and columns of information. A typical use case for a database is to store user information like usernames, passwords, profile information, pictures, and more.


Companies use databases to store all kinds of information and often split the information across many different tables. When the data in the tables is related, the database is called a “relational database.” SQL is useful for efficiently running queries across many different data tables.


There are a few different flavors of SQL, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, NewSQL, and T-SQL. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and understanding which one to use for your project takes some time.

what is sql used for

What Is NoSQL?

NoSQL refers to a querying language used in a non-relational database. A non-relational database is a simpler database where data is stored in simple object (list) form, rather than in related tables of rows and columns.


Some examples of NoSQL databases include MongoDB, Cassandra, HBase, and Hypertable. These databases are less powerful than SQL databases but are often preferred for less complex data storage needs because they are quick to set up and easy to run.


You might choose a non-relational database for your project if you want to store your data more straightforwardly and do not need to support complex data relationships.

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Who Should Use SQL?

Anyone interested in working with back-end web or software applications should learn SQL. In addition, data scientists and analysts should know SQL because they need to run queries and analyze large datasets.


Anyone working for a major company that deals with large amounts of data should know at least a little SQL. Product managers and designers can empower themselves to make more strategic product decisions by using SQL to understand user data and analyze trends.

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Why Is SQL Important?

SQL is the de-facto database querying language that nearly every company worldwide uses to input, manipulate, retrieve, and analyze data. 


In today’s data-driven economy, making decisions based on data is no longer optional. As a result, companies that use data to drive their product development see higher user retention and a larger profit margin than those that do not.


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what is sql used for

Things to Note About SQL

While learning SQL is beneficial, and anyone in a tech-adjacent job can benefit from learning it, it is possible to get insights into data without it. Tools like Looker, Microsoft BI, and Qliksense provide data extraction layers and interfaces that non-SQL-savvy people can use.


While many tools exist to make working with SQL easier, you will find it easier to make progress on your own if you understand the basics of the language. Often, a tool can only get you so far, and you need to write queries to do more complicated things.

Main Takeaways

SQL (Structured Query Language) is the standard programming language for accessing, manipulating, and analyzing data in databases. Web developers, data scientists and analysts, application engineers, IT, and anyone in product development should be familiar with SQL.


There are tools that make working with SQL easier, but those tools can limit what you can do with the data. Understanding the language will give you more power and flexibility when it comes to manipulating and updating your databases.


A NoSQL database is a simpler form of database that allows data to be stored more straightforwardly but does not support complex relationships between different data entries.


These days, SQL is more than a fringe skill. In the modern, data-driven world, proficiency with SQL leads to better and more job opportunities, no matter what field you work in.


Check out this introductory course on SQL


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