Chapter 10: Dashboards and alarms

Doing Data Analysis at work isn’t about SQL at all.

It’s about asking great questions, answering them with data. It’s about producing insights and using them to advance our product and business.

Dashboard

To explore the data, Data Analysis rarely use plain result sets. 99% of the time, DA-s use BI tools that chart result sets as bar charts, line charts, pie charts and all sorts of other charts.

It’s way easier to spot anomalies or trends on a chart rather than in a 5000 rows table.

BI tools also allow us to visualize key metrics of our business and put them on display for all employees. I bet in your company already has charts like “customers added in the past 7 days”, etc.

SQL Habit has everything you need to master building dashboarding: there’s a Live dataset to practice queries like “metric in the past N days” and an entire chart tool to visualize your queries. 📊

Alerts

Another important aspect of SQL is monitoring and alerting. Imagine you’ve built 50 dashboards that cover all important metrics for your business. Will you monitor all 50 of them daily to ensure metrics are healthy? What if you have 150?

This is where alerting comes in. BI tools allow us to specify queries (SQL alerts) that will be run on schedule. If such a query returns an unexpected value (like “we had 0 customers in the past 24 hours”), an email or a Slack message will be sent.

Alerting is one of my favorite topics, because it allows our data to talk to us, instead of us running queries to gather insights.

This chapter covers essential techniques for writing alert queries.

Anatoli Makarevich, author of SQL Habit About SQL Habit

Hi, it’s Anatoli, the author of SQL Habit. 👋

SQL Habit is a course (or, as some of the students say, “business simulator”). It’s based on a story of a fictional startup called Bindle. You’ll play a role of their Data Analyst 📊 and solve real-life challenges from Business, Marketing, and Product Management.

SQL Habit course is made of 13 chapters (you’re looking at one atm) that contain 271 bite-sized lessons and exercises. All of them have a real-life setting and detailed explanations. You can immediately apply everything you’ve learned at work. 🚀

The 2nd part of the course is called Practice. It’s made of standalone exercises based on multiple datasets – E-commerce, Finance and Meditation app a-la Headspace or Calm. Practice exercises are harder than in the main course. They’ll get you ready for any challenge at work or an interview. 💪

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