What is Querying?
In order to receive information from a database, the ask needs to be in a language the database can understand. A query is a question or request for a database written in code the database can correctly interpret, retrieve, or manipulate the right information. Among its uses, querying can uncover trends and other insights in data to help an enterprise make data-informed decisions.
How does querying work?
There are different kinds of querying languages for various databases and functions, but the language most universally used is known as SQL. In turn, MySQL serves as the software that uses the SQL query language. Depending on the query language and its complexity, requested data can be displayed in simple rows and columns or as more sophisticated graphs. Other less frequently used languages include AQL, DMX, and Datalog.
Querying can be used to fetch data, known as select queries, or to modify data, known as action queries. Querying requires specific knowledge about the language being used in order to make requests, but there are ways to enable less advanced users to query a database, such as through the use of querying by example (QBE), which uses SQL statement templates with blank areas that users can add fields and values to.
In addition to the SQL database, which is a relational database type good for ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) compliant data structures, NoSQL is a type of database that’s an option well-suited for unstructured data.
Different methods of querying
Queries can be simple or complex depending on the use case. Queries can return a broad amount of data or be more granular by setting conditions and restrictions. Some examples of methods of querying a database include:
- Limiting fields that are searched
- Setting a condition that limits queries to entities with a certain number of links
- Running queries with a specific entity or link types
What are queries used for?
In a nutshell, queries help a user find data and put it to work and can be used for a variety of different functions, including:
- Automating data management tasks
- Summarizing data to uncover trends and other insights
- Reviewing multiple tables in a single datasheet
- Performing calculations
- Modifying data in a database, such as adding, changing, or deleting data
How Scuba makes querying easier
Using querying languages such as SQL enables a user to locate, modify and put data to work. But, effectively harnessing the power of queries for databases requires knowledge of the code and the ability to navigate complex platforms. While there are some methods--like the QBE model--that simplify the process and make it easier for those with less technical know-how to input queries, they come with some trade-offs, such as flexibility.
No-code querying solutions, like Scuba Analytics, eliminate this barrier to entry by making working with data more accessible and easier to digest for all stakeholders in a business. Learn more about how Scuba Analytics democratizes data across enterprise teams to find valuable insights to drive business decisions and strategies, here.