Structured Query Language
Ladies and gentlemen we are back to talking about code but this time with databases. This is extremely important for every business because it makes searching and inputting data easier. SQL is a specialized language for updating, deleting, and requesting information from databases. This is widely used in both the industry and academia for complex databases. I am not going to go into how to write SQL in this blog today but It’s not a hard language to learn and there are many tutorials out there. In less than two hours I got through the first 12 lessons on w3schools. If you would like to learn the language follow this link: http://www.w3schools.com/sql/default.asp. Another place where you can create models of web, phone, or desktop applications is SQLite:http://www.sqlite.org/
Below is an example of what SQL can look like.
This is an excerpt from Access, showing how SQL Query Commands works. SQL has a certain syntax to it and it involves a lot of capitalization, so be ready to put your caps lock on. You can easily use these types of databases and SQL as your relational database to data mine. Data mining can dig up relevant information that is scattered through departments.
If you have read my earlier blog about coding you are well aware that coding is important. It is becoming essential for marketers to become technical and learn computer languages. Anyone can learn these skills and you don’t have to have certain talents, just a willingness and determination to learn. If coding seems scary or too hard for you I would suggest you learn SQL first. This is much easier than coding because it consists of English statements, like SELECT. When you are ready to learn more complex coding, having SQL in your background will be very helpful. I bet it would surprise you how SQL is everywhere. it is in your PCs, laptops, mainframes, and even your mobile phones. What is wonderful about this is system is it is used to communicate with the database and will answer complex questions in seconds. By having your marketing team learn this language they are going to be able to execute queries by themselves instead of waiting for the techies to get it done. This means faster results and more time for innovation.
One company that is proving SQL is relevant in today’s marketing is MemSQL. They have invested $35 million in securing Series B funding. This investment is going to enable the company to expand product development, support its growing customer base and capitalize on the market for Big Data technologies. This company was founded in 2011 by former Facebook engineers Eric Frenkiel and Nikita Shamgunov. If they are from Facebook then they must be legit right? To give you a little bit of background on MemSQL, they are the world’s fastest in-memory SQL database that accelerates applications, powers real-time analytics, and combines structured and semi-structured data into a consolidated Big Data solution. Granted that this is a SQL company and so them spending money on improving the technology isn’t that surprising but the fact that they are willing to spend this much, with the idea that other companies will be using it is a big deal. SQL is a happening thing. It just seems to be behind the scenes but I think that coding in general is behind the scenes. If you aren’t involved in the coding world than you really would never know the extent to what it entails and that is just another reason why you should learn how to code.
Talking about how companies using MySQL I just received an email from my dentist and at the very end of the email was this:
They are using MySQL to host their database. By using this they were able to find my information and send me an email. They used SQL to look up customers who hadn’t been to the dentist in a while and may need a reminder. Yes, I haven’t been to the dentist and now that I have announced this publicly I better get into see them. 🙂 I just love this example because it shows that even small business use SQL and it isn’t just for the large companies.
Another company that is very successful with database marketing is Amazon. They collect massive amounts of data on its customers and their purchases and mines this data to see what purchases are commonly made together. This then leads them to being able to give you suggestions and pair you with items, while your shopping and after checking out. By using SQL they are turning this data into knowledge.
Knowledge is key.