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When you’re just getting started with data analytics, it can be overwhelming for a number of reasons. One of the big impediments for beginners is the jargon. Parsing, imputing, regressions, data lakes, correlations, transfer protocols, RESTful APIs, confidence intervals, Auth tokens, Active Directory, ODBC, normalizing, standardization, inner join, and the list goes on. We’ve all been there, but in some special cases, you find out that even the terms you thought you knew can be a lot more complicated than you imagined – like databases. 




Pretty much everyone has heard the term database, but a lot of people would struggle to describe the key elements of a database. The distinctions between relational and non-relational databases may still be a mystery, and where does NoSQL fit into that landscape (if at all)? It’s tempting to just learn the information relevant to your current data environment, but it can be useful to zoom out and get a broader sense of the many options that exist. 




To help out newcomers and veterans alike, we’ve created the Database-ics interactive lesson as part of the SparkED Data Essentials course. This lesson covers why you might choose a database over other storage options, some of the key components and functionality you’ll encounter when using databases, and of course, the difference between relational and non-relational databases. The lesson also introduces some additional concepts like ACID compliance, OLTP & OLAP, data warehouses, and data lakes.  


This interactive lesson won’t set you up to become a DBA—take the course if you don’t know what that is—but it’s a great place to start so you have a good foundation to continue learning or enhance the way you work with your current environment. If you enjoy Database-ics, be sure to check out the other Data Essentials modules and check back in the future as we continue to roll out new modules.