One of the easiest ways to break into the data science industry is through gaining knowledge or training in a data science-compatible programming language. As one of the most widely sought-after programming languages for data scientists, SQL is a valuable skill for anyone who is interested in the data science industry. While there are many uses for SQL, this language is generally employed as a means of communication in order to access, manage, and manipulate data within relational database management systems. 

Relational database management systems (or RDBMs) are programs that assist in the storage of relational databases, which are then used to make comparisons between data. Although there are many RDBMs that rely on the SQL programming language, some are more common than others, and PostgreSQL is one of the most popular in the field. The following article offers some of the many reasons why data scientists are using PostgreSQL and why you should learn more about this data science tool.

What is PostgreSQL?

Initially developed at the University of California-Berkeley during the early 1980s, PostgreSQL is a relational database management system that has gone through multiple iterations and updates over the years. From academic research to product development, PostgreSQL is a versatile data science tool that takes an object-oriented approach to databases. Primarily used for the development of mobile applications, this database is known for its scalability when working with projects of all sizes. A free and open-source platform, PostgreSQL also has a robust community of contributors which ensures that even those new to relational databases have plenty of resources to draw from when working with this system. 

According to the 2021 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, PostgreSQL is the second most popular database amongst data science professionals and developers making it a top tool within the industry. This is primarily because PostgreSQL is also the database of choice for multiple companies and platforms, such as Apple, IMDB, Spotify, and Reddit. As a database that exists in the back end of many websites and organizations, PostgreSQL is not only important for data scientists to know, but anyone who is working with information and data within an online environment.

PostgreSQL for Data Science

There are several features and capabilities of PostgreSQL which make it one of the most widely used relational database management systems for conducting a successful data science project. This list includes some of the primary reasons why data science students and professionals should get to know PostgreSQL.

Big Data/base Storage

Although many relational database management systems have been developed with the intention of working with large-scale collections of data, PostgreSQL has a proven track record as a big data tool through its common usage amongst companies that collect multiple databases of user data. PostgreSQL is able to host these types of big data projects because of its unlimited database size and large storage capacity for saving information in data objects, such as tables. 

Structured and Unstructured Data

Another important aspect of working with big data is the reality that not all datasets include the same type of data. While many relational database management systems focus on the storage of structured data which can fit into the traditional rows and columns format, PostgreSQL offers several options for working with unstructured data as well. When working with structured data you can use SQL, but when using unstructured data the database relies on JSON. In contrast to SQL, JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation, and it is a text-based format that can be used to transmit data objects from one space to another. The incorporation of JSON as another communication method within PostgreSQL is also one of the primary reasons that this database is so popular amongst the development of mobile technologies.

Data Mining and Wrangling Tools 

One of the primary uses of a database is the process of data cleaning and organization. In comparison to working with a less sophisticated file system, PostgreSQL stands out in its effectiveness when it comes to the processes of both data mining and data wrangling. Similar to methods such as open coding, data mining is the process of sorting through a dataset in order to identify patterns or themes. In addition to functions that can be used to filter and sort data, PostgreSQL is compatible with software and products which specialize in data mining, such as Orange. As another name for exploring and cleaning data, data wrangling in PostgreSQL also includes features that allow you to merge tables, identify missing values, and even delete records from the database, all of which ensures that data is organized in the most effective ways.

Cost-Effective and Efficient 

Despite the fact that PostgreSQL is used by many large companies and media platforms, this relational database system is still made freely available to those that want to use it. One of the greatest benefits of using this software is the ease of accessibility when it comes to the cost. Even as an open-source product that is made available for a large audience of individuals, PostgreSQL is still known as a high-performing database that does not lack effectiveness or efficiency.

Why Data Scientists Should Learn PostgreSQL

As mentioned above, PostgreSQL is commonly used within technology companies due to its capacity for data storage and open source technology. Many of these companies work with multiple databases at the same time in order to manage all of the user information and data being collected on a day to day basis, so there is a need for data scientists that understand how to manage and retrieve information from databases and other large scale data collection tools within a web-based environment. The popularity of PostgreSQL amongst more well-known companies also means that this database is widely used within the data science industry. This means that data scientists that want to pursue a career in science, technology, and/or social media should consider receiving additional training in this relational database management system. 

Want to learn PostgreSQL for Data Science?

Of the many relational database management systems available to data scientists, PostgreSQL continues to be recommended and used for a variety of projects and professions. For students and data scientists that are interested in learning more about this platform, Noble Desktop offers a SQL Bootcamp which includes instruction in PostgreSQL. As one of many SQL courses available from Noble Desktop, knowledge of PostgreSQL can also lead to specialization in other relational database management systems. The SQL Server Bootcamp and the Data Science Certificate also include training in how to use the SQL programming language to write queries and explore datasets in the context of a database system. Through in-depth instruction on how to use programming languages to manage large stores of information and data, these courses and certificate programs ensure that you are prepared to work with a variety of databases and data science tools.