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Learner Reviews & Feedback for SQL for Data Science by University of California, Davis

13,067 ratings

About the Course

As data collection has increased exponentially, so has the need for people skilled at using and interacting with data; to be able to think critically, and provide insights to make better decisions and optimize their businesses. This is a data scientist, “part mathematician, part computer scientist, and part trend spotter” (SAS Institute, Inc.). According to Glassdoor, being a data scientist is the best job in America; with a median base salary of $110,000 and thousands of job openings at a time. The skills necessary to be a good data scientist include being able to retrieve and work with data, and to do that you need to be well versed in SQL, the standard language for communicating with database systems. This course is designed to give you a primer in the fundamentals of SQL and working with data so that you can begin analyzing it for data science purposes. You will begin to ask the right questions and come up with good answers to deliver valuable insights for your organization. This course starts with the basics and assumes you do not have any knowledge or skills in SQL. It will build on that foundation and gradually have you write both simple and complex queries to help you select data from tables. You'll start to work with different types of data like strings and numbers and discuss methods to filter and pare down your results. You will create new tables and be able to move data into them. You will learn common operators and how to combine the data. You will use case statements and concepts like data governance and profiling. You will discuss topics on data, and practice using real-world programming assignments. You will interpret the structure, meaning, and relationships in source data and use SQL as a professional to shape your data for targeted analysis purposes. Although we do not have any specific prerequisites or software requirements to take this course, a simple text editor is recommended for the final project. So what are you waiting for? This is your first step in landing a job in the best occupation in the US and soon the world!...

Top reviews


Aug 22, 2021

I thought this course was great! Great introduction to Relational Databases and SQLite. Highly reccomend for anyone new to SQL, Databases, or someone looking to get started with a data science career.


Apr 5, 2020

This course has really helped with optimizing queries that I work with everyday, enhancing my understanding of RDBMS, joins, analyzing and structuring exactly what you need and yielding those results.

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By Greg S

Dec 16, 2020

The lectures and weekly coursework were fine -- although a bit too easy. The emphasis on certain aspects, such as formatting/commenting, and some comments on joins were on point. Sadie has a soothing voice and good pace, although the content somewhat drags at places. Not her fault as a presenter, the videos were just going too slow imo. There were a few typos in the lecture slides, one of which was quite confusing (I have reported them separately).

Unfortunately what really stood out in a negative way was the peer-graded assignment. This *really* needs to be rewritten. Specific problems:



Questions 5 to 7 could be answered in two different ways: one, which is the "easier" one and the one that the marking guide forced us to accept, is to read off review_count from the Business table (and descend-order it). The first few results this way are


| city | reviews |


| Las Vegas | 82854 |

| Phoenix | 34503 |

| Toronto | 24113 |

| Scottsdale | 20614 |

| Charlotte | 12523 |

| Henderson | 10871 |


The problem with this is that the data set we're working on is a SUBSET of the full Yelp set. This means that the Business.review_count column (which was presumably added there in a redundant, denormalized way, in order to speed up queries) contains much higher counts than the ones that would be obtained by actually joining the Business and Review tables (on business id) and grouping by city. Here are the first few results of this approach, which imo is the correct one:


| city | reviews |


| Las Vegas | 193 |

| Phoenix | 65 |

| Toronto | 51 |

| Scottsdale | 37 |

| Henderson | 30 |

| Tempe | 28 |


I would be totally ok if the marking guide gave us the choice to accept both methods, but that wasn't the case.

Part 2


Q1 of Part2 was badly worded and unclear. It asks us to "pick a city AND a category" but then to group the businesses (by star rating) "in that city OR category". What exactly does that mean? Lump together all businesses from eg Phoenix (regardless of category) with the eg Restaurants businesses (regardless of city)? What's the rationale behind this? Or was it meant to read "in that city AND category" (meaning that we would only consider restaurants from Phoenix)?

Also, Q1.iii is both random and vague: why location? What do you mean by location (zip code? longitude/latitude?). This ties to the above ambiguity (X=AND vs X=OR in "in that city X category").

By Alexander B

Mar 2, 2020

Overall rating: The course itself was really good for beginners. I really like SQL


You get a lot of information and it has a clear structure.

There are nice examples and you can train enough.

The rate of speaking of the teacher was perfect for me.

A very good thing was that the questions of the exam fit perfectly well to the information we were taught in the classes.


What i did not like is, that even though you get clear instructions how to write and structure your code, the teacher did not stick to the rules all the time or structured the code in a way, which was not mentioned before.

The reason why i only give 3 stars to this course is that the final assignment was the worst thing i ever experienced in a course. The instructions very totally unclear a lot of times and I had to search the discussion forum to find out what the questions are about. They could be interpreted in many different ways. Additionally, sometimes specific things were asked for like correlation, which is simply not possible if you take the question seriously. This would be a complicated formula, but the real intention of the question was to check it roughly by eye. But you can not tell what the intention is before you know the result and so it took me a lot of time to find out what the intention of several questions was. According to the discussion forum this problem is know for several years now. So enough time to fix it. Therefore i took two stars from the course.

By Jasmine B

May 4, 2020

Coming from someone who has zero experience using SQL, I can only describe this course as okay. On one hand I was able to build somewhat of a foundation seeing that I had no information prior to this course, alternatively the presentation of material especially as we approached week 3 was subpar. Week 3 and 4 had material that was much more involved and complicated compared to the prior weeks. The lectures were not at all sufficient enough to get a good understanding of the material. I found I had to find clarity using online tools, posting multiple (frequently unanswered) questions in the forum, and searching through pages and pages of forum posts in hopes that someone would have the same question I did. Painstakingly going through the lecture transcript on a specific topic was generally the last resort. To briefly speak more about the lecture delivery, I found it distractingly rehearsed. It's as if the material wasn't reviewed before reading it word for word to the students. There were so many misreads and phrases that made zero sense and these mistakes were carried through even to the most difficult concepts where a succinct, clear, informative delivery is desperately needed. I honestly felt like I was floundering in week 3 and especially week 4. The peer assignment questions were unclear and seemed to be asking questions on material we haven't covered or haven't covered in depth enough to answer some of the questions.

By Bohdan Z

Sep 1, 2020

In general, course was not bad as for me, but there are some problems. On my opinion, main problem is luck of practice. Teacher tell about everything but all you see is explaining idea and purposes of using some statement, then boom and whole code on your screen, and you just seat and don't interact with SQL while listening the lecture. It was easier for me, since I've already knew some basics from another course, but I would definitely struggle if this was my first course in SQL. Also, in the beginning some task seemed to be given earlier then material needed for them. And the last problem is the last assignment. It seemed interesting for me at the beginning, but in the middle I got stuck with questions, cause they was made with hope on knowledge of student and, as I found out later, one of them doesn't have a certain answer. The most challenging was the last task in the assignment but problem was again in understanding what is needed from you, not in difficulty of writing some SQL code. It would be better, if links on useful sources were given before last assignment, so people at least had idea what to do and get some additional knowledge at the same time. At the same time, course have structure and some practical tests, so that's why I give it 3 stars.

By S H

Jan 11, 2022

The course is a good starting point for learning SQL but it is limited to SELECT statements only. There are some errors here and there that you can generally overlook but may confuse you if you are already struggling with the concepts. The two big negatives in my opinion were the way concepts are presented and the final assignment. The concept are presented by a lady who just speaks and part of the screen shows the SQL she is referencing without breaking down the code into parts so that the student can understand it. It would be much more effective if the code was "created" on the screen. The biggest issue with understanding the code is that the instructor never shares a view of the database that the SQL code are working on (even though there is a lot of emphasis given in the lecture to "first spend time getting familiar with your dataset". It would have helped if the student was given a chance to familiarize himself with the data used in the examples. As for the final assignment, the instructions were vague and it took me a lot more time to figure out what was being asked than to actually do the coding to answer the question.

By Matthew P

Oct 4, 2021

Overall, course material seemed good, though in a few places the order was disjointed. There were also relatively few instances where newer examples and code made use of features and statements that had been shown earlier in the course, which seems to be a missed opportunity. Also use and syntax for commands was occasionally unclear, due to imprecise language used by the instructor.

A more significant issue was the age of everything. I believe the most recent reading was from 2016, and a lot of the stuff was about trends from years ago that (based on contemporary searching) is very different now, with a focus on NoSQL databases that seem to be much less of a hot topic in 2021.

This was even more striking in the exercises, where we used a version of SQLite around 2012. Many current pieces of functionality were missing, and given the way we were encouraged to seek out SQLite documentation to assist us, this made for a confusing experience, and rendered some of the tasks in the Peer Review Project much more difficult and cumbersome than they might have been otherwise.


Apr 3, 2018

I think there are many things that could be improved about this course. It feels a bit rushed when it comes to the videos, which could offer a bit more information. There are some concepts that I had some difficulty grasping because they weren't explored with sufficient depth. And also, there are some other aspects which do not appear in the course, but which I feel would be useful, such as perhaps how to use database management systems themselves to extract data to your computer, since in this course you only learn how to write queries, and not how to extract the information you've queried to your computer.

In addition, I think the database used for the final task is flawed, and this gives some strange results when performing it.

On a more positive note, I did actually learn a lot from te course, and I think the proramming tasks where really helpful, and actually kind of interesting, as you get the chance to play around with your queries and experiment with the results (despite the aforementioned flaw).

By Edith M

Nov 24, 2020

I have now taken two different courses through Coursera. Python for Everyone and SQL for Data Science. The teacher for Python for Everyone actually teaches and has a book to go along with the course material for reference or even for extra practice. That was not the case for this class.

For this class, the teacher read from a script and often sounded like she was reading the script for the first time. Did she even write the script? Is she actually a data scientist or someone they just hired to read the script?

There were a few times I needed some extra help and went online to find some more examples. Several times the online examples were the same or at least very similar to the problems in the quizzes. It just made me question the skill of the person teaching the class.

But, with all that, I do feel the class gave me a good introduction to SQL and it was nice for it to be organized in a logical progression than trying to pick up SQL from various tutorials on the web.

By Joseph C

Jun 27, 2018

Three stars because (1) the lecturer is good, and (2) Despite the bad "user experience" provided by this course, I did achieve my goal which was to acquire a working knowledge of SQL. Some of the final project questions were confusing, or not well explained. Some of the answers given in the rubric are wrong (Part 1 question 6). Only a few mentors are present on the Forum and they often give incomplete answers to questions. One of the homework questions is incorrectly posed; this has been pointed out 6 months ago and is still not corrected. The student must waste a significant amount of time trying to understand ill-posed or confusing coding assignment questions. This level of neglect to improving the user experience is really *not acceptable* for a paid course.The course could be greatly improved by having someone with pedagogical as well as technical knowledge to address the task of rewriting and fixing the coding questions that many users have complained about.

By Wendy W

Mar 2, 2020

The lecture videos covered the topics in a very general way and gave examples of the code. However, I found there were not enough coding exercises to cover all the functions learned. In addition, I learnt the syntax and how to use the different functions mostly through my own research using external tutorial web sites. The lectures served more as an outline of topics rather than as a stand-alone learning tool. I was fine with this as I like learning independently but there could be more of a practical element to the course. The final assignment wording ought to be reviewed by the course co-ordinator rather urgently as a number of the questions were unclear and ambiguous as to what was required. The marking scheme also does not allow differentiation between good answers utilising good coding versus inelegant coding / passable code that could be better. Overall, a useful introduction to SQL and I felt like I got a good overview but lacking in technical practice.