You might be wondering if it’s essential for a product manager to learn SQL. Today, we’ll talk about the benefits of learning SQL and how it can help you become a better product manager.
Many people don’t know this, but knowing SQL can benefit PMs, so stick around and know why.
The Power of Data
Let us first understand the power of data.
It’s painful. It’s brutal and a little sadistic, but it’s beautiful. Data is a Product Manager’s best friend.
Without the data, they can’t make decisions and efficiently carry out their work. The most important information for any decision should come from analyzing numbers gathered through tracking users’ behaviour on an app.
Product Managers are comfortable using third-party tools like Mixpanel and Google Analytics to get their data. However, when it’s time to interact with databases directly, they often rely upon other people before meeting stakeholders or creating decks.
Large corporations have dedicated teams that deal with data management. You can request a small amount of data by making a formal request. It might be available level within a few days. For most startups, the responsibility for retrieving data is usually on the engineering team or business analyst, but what if you didn’t want to rely on other people?
This skill is extremely valuable because you can interact with databases directly and retrieve the data you need whenever you want.
SQL is one of the most used languages for retrieving, updating, modifying, and creating data from databases. Even a basic knowledge will allow you to create queries and reports and avoid your data team in some instances. So let’s move forward to learning about SQL.
What is SQL?
SQL stands for Structured Query Language.
It is also known as SQL(“sequel”). SQL is a database-specific programming language, which means it can only be used with databases. SQL works with MySQL databases.
For this, let’s understand what is a MySQL database in brief.
What is MySQL?
Well, it’s a popular type of database known as a relational database. A relational database is a collection of multiple data sets organized by records, tables, and columns. Each table is known as a relation.
Data is stored in tables, similar to information in Excel sheets, where tables are used to store data. These tables can communicate based on specific fields in the database.
Let’s move back to the language for querying MySQL databases: SQL.
SQL is a language that allows us to create, retrieve, update and retrieve data from a database. These actions are referred to as an acronym, ‘CRUD’ and are performed by product managers. A Product Manager would argue that they are primarily concerned with the ability to read information from a database, getting the data they need for their reports, and leaving the create, update and delete actions to the engineers or database managers.
Why do Product Managers need SQL?
Let’s understand why SQL is required for product managers. There are numerous benefits of the same.
- First, not relying on data teams or engineers to build the reports you need. You can set your metrics and measure your results without involving your engineering team.
Knowing this information is vital if you are working in a startup, as you are less likely to have a dedicated theme of data analysts and reporting people.
- Second, getting the data you need. Some queries might be complex, but even the most basic SQL queries will allow you to get whatever information you need.
- Third, understanding where the data lives. Knowing where the data lives gives you a deeper understanding of your product. In your next planning session, you can ensure that relevant fields are added to the database so that you can generate better reports and measure the performance of your feature.
How does SQL work?
SQL retrieves information from a database. This process is known as querying a database.
In simpler words, querying says: ‘Hey, database show me all the customers on this package, and the database returns a result known as the ‘result set’. The result is the answer to your query.
You can download the Seekho app here if you wish to learn SQL.
You will get courses and short videos related to the same.
If you’re not a product manager from a computer science background, using SQL can be daunting at first, but it will surely make your life easier.
That was it for today. Thank you so much for reading.
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