Fundamentals of Data Analysis Limiting number of records produced by query

9. Limiting number of records produced by query

“Wooow, we have thousands of users registered, look at these users!” the girls were screaming and jumping out of joy. “I’m really glad that we can query the tables so easily and check what fields are there. But do we need to print all records every time? It makes it slower, is there a way to print out, say, 5 records?” asked Linh.

Indeed there is 😊 There’s a special keyword LIMIT that tells SQL how many records do we want to be printed. For example, this query will print the first 5 records:

FROM users

Let’s combine all the things we have learned so far, can you tell what this query is doing?

FROM users
ORDER BY created_at DESC

This query could be interpreted like Give me all columns of 5 latest records in the users table, simply 5 latest signups.

Note, that we used the created_at datetime column to sort records by precise timestamps. An alternative would be to sort records by signup_date column. Keep in mind that signup_date doesn’t have information about hour/minute or second of a signup because it’s a column of type date ⚠

Now go and practice these queries in the Playground 👏

Anatoli Makarevich, author of SQL Habit About SQL Habit

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

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-- Type your query here, for example this one -- lists all records from users table: SELECT * FROM users
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