Database consultancy: What level of SQL-knowledge is necessary for economists?
If you’ve ever tried to find a job with economist position, you’ve definitely faced with sql knowledge requirement. Statistics show that over 75% of economist jobs require database and sql knowledge. Unfortunately, while studying at economical college or university we don’t pay enough attention to databases, which cause many problems afterwards.
So let’s answer 2 questions in this article:
- 1. Which level of sql-knowledge is needed for economist?
2. What database related subjects are useful for learning?
Some people argue that no database knowledge is needed, because there are a lot of different software solutions in this area. There is no need to clarify all the details. The main goal of economist is to analyze the data and to provide recommendations. It is a wrong approach of trying to be both economist and database developer.
On the other hand, such areas like OLAP and BI are considered as working tools for economists and analysts among professionals in broad range of financial companies. Being very useful in data searching and analysis make them very popular in professional world. As for SQL itself, the following is very nice to have for a qualified economist:
- SELECT queries
- Analytical functions
- + excel with it’s functions for data analysis
A survey taken among sql-developers and database consultancies from a variety of financial companies shows that many sql-specialists are concerned about poor knowledge and experience of economist in databases and SQL. This is one of the quotations: “I had to do a lot of different tasks for them:
- reports using the group by / outer join / UNION, PL / SQL.
- scripts to parse the test data (dbf)
- SQL * Loader scripts to unload data in Oracle.”
Basically the professional economist should be able to get the necessary data and properly aggregate it. In other words, there should be one resulting Excel table from multiple tables with millions or billions of rows. For this purpose the following sentences are useful: select, group by, join, all kinds of aggregate functions sum, count, max, min, avg. If the company is large (many clients and data), even a simple economic calculations for customers can be done on a database level, because aggregation is not possible in excel for huge amount of data.
To sum up, the question “to learn, or not to learn SQL” still takes place. But seems the most popular answer is “nice to have”, than “to be done”. Forrards database consultancy can save your time on learning sql, by taking all database operations to his hands. Don’t worry about it any more, just Contact Us, and we will do our best.