Edd Webster: SQL Q&A
Written by Training Ground Guru — October 5, 2022
EDD WEBSTER is a data scientist for LEGO who previously worked for Manchester City and West Ham.
On October 25th, he will be hosting an SQL Masterclass for TGG. Here is some background on SQL and what the Masterclass will involve.
WHAT IS SQL?
Edd Webster: To put it simply, SQL - which stands for Structured Query Language - is a computer language that communicates with databases.
If you want to manipulate, access and communicate with data, you will need SQL. Excel does serve a useful purpose, but if you get to 100,000 rows, it doesn’t work very well. This is where SQL comes into its own and it's why this is one of the most in-demand skills in the data industry.
SQL enables you to speak to any data that you have in your databases. You can then export it to work with other tools, such as Tableau and Power BI for visualisations, or Python and R for data science and modelling.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE LEARN IN THIS MASTERCLASS?
I'll be teaching you the skills you need to set up a database and then showing you how to use SQL to manipulate that data and apply it for your organisation’s needs.
In the space of two hours you'll be able to go from complete newbie to being able to query, filter and export data. I will also explain how to connect SQL with other tools, such as Tableau or Excel.
You don’t need to be a programmer, developer or power data user to benefit from this Masterclass. It is aimed at ANYONE looking to leverage the data that they have in a database, or people wanting to get their data in a better position.
WHO WILL FIND IT USEFUL?
The SQL Masterclass is aimed at anyone looking to improve what they do in their current role, or anyone looking for a new role that is more data-oriented.
Whether you’re a coach, recruitment analyst, sport scientist, performance analyst or even a Head of Recruitment, you will find these skills - setting up databases and manipulating the data within them - incredibly useful.
Instead of having to ask the data professional in your organisation to retrieve data for you, you will be able to go straight into a database and start playing around with the data yourself and getting the insights that you need.
You might be keen to get out of clunky Excel reporting, because many of us will have been there when an Excel report with 100,000 rows crashes.
Staff in football are having to work with increasingly large datasets. With tracking data, for example, you’re talking about millions of rows of data for a single match. Multiply that over the course of a season or several seasons and you’re very much into the realms of Big Data. This is where knowledge of SQL is so crucial.
You might have csv's all over your desktop and want to improve your general data infrastructure - SQL will help you to get your data in a better position within a database and then you'll be able to query it.
CONNECTING DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS
From my experience in football, this is one of the main areas in which SQL can bring advantages to your club. There are multiple departments - recruitment, sport science, coaching. analysis - and everyone potentially has their own databases. Maybe they are working in silos and struggling to have data-driven conversations with each other.
Getting your data into a database - so long as those different datasets have common identifiers - enables you to create a data ecosystem, where you can take data from one source and connect it to another. That can then initiate conversations between departments that maybe weren’t happening before and enable data-driven decision-making.
With this session you will be able to draw those insights and join datasets together.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED?
In terms of your requirements for this Masterclass, you won’t need a powerful machine. We’ll be using My SQL, which is a free download. I’ll be providing an installation guide on how to get ready for the session for anyone who buys a ticket.
In addition, we will be providing datasets from our friends at Wyscout, as well as code notes and further learning materials. You will be able to follow along with me and ask questions as we go along.
Afterwards there will be a recording of the session for ticket holders.