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Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing


A database is the right tool for structuring and managing many kinds of complex data. Thousands of programmer-years have gone into their design and implementation so that they can handle very large datasets—terabytes or more—quickly and reliably. Queries allow for great flexibility in how you are able to analyze your data, which makes databases a good choice when you are exploring data.

  • Use a database to store and manage regular data (and make your data regular so that it can be managed).
  • Use queries to express what you want, and let the computer figure out how to get it.
  • Remember to account for gaps in your data.
  1. Introduction
  2. Selecting Data
  3. Filtering
  4. Sorting
  5. Aggregation
  6. Joining Tables
  7. Missing Data
  8. Nested Queries