Learn On Your Own

Learn Technology On Your Own

If you are a professional such as a CFO, Controller, Engineer, Accountant, Director or VP of anything , you have felt the pain. You have an idea of exactly what data you need and how it should be presented. However, for one reason or another people around you struggle to make it happen.

You bought the software, it is your data, you need only understand it’s landscape to help others around you take command of it.  It is our goal to help professionals learn more about technology and IT professionals to learn more about the business they serve. If we both sides inch towards each other, there will be miles of progress.

We are happy to help build training programs and train your team directly. This page is provided to help you get a start on your own. It is focused first on understanding data and databases but that is only the beginning. We hope you reach out to us as you push yourself to learn more.

Where to Start –
Find a Problem To Solve

Start with a real problem
You won’t enjoy learning something new unless you have a real problem to solve that interests you. To learn more about data, envision a reporting system that you need and may want to add more features to.

Start with a spreadsheet
Before you can work with data, you have to create test data. A spreadsheet is the easiest place to start to craft the various data tables that you will learn from. Create multiple tabs, one for each reference point such as clients, employees, sales invoices or time entry logs.

Plan the End Result
Still using a spreadsheet, now create the ultimate presentation where your data should be presented so you can interact with it. This is where you envision something useful, something that pushes the boundaries of what you already have. Make it apply to your needs.

The Next Step –
Get Your Hands Dirty

Create a Database
It is time to move your test data from your spreadsheet into a database. Microsoft SQL Server Express is a great place to start and provides an import feature to help you get started. See below for more links on how to figure the steps out. And you will need to first install SQL Server Express to get moving.

Learn About SQL
Now that you have tables you get to learn how to query the data in ways that make sense to you. However, it won’t initially make sense on how this is done. But the below links will help. We strongly suggest you learn how to store and run your SQL code from a Stored Procedure.

Don’t Give Up
It will be difficult, but if you persist you will be able to create the final queries that would fold into your planned end result. Connecting your queries and your spreadsheet is another project, but if you can get this far you are on your way.

What You Will Need to Know

Installing SQL Server Express
  • Youtube can be a great source
  • Microsoft download link for 2014 SQL Express (Look for Express with Tools such as “32BIT\SQLEXPRWT_x86_ENU.exe”. There is a 64 bit option as well)
  • Sorry Mac users. If you need to install SQL Server you need a Windows O/S. You can easily get up and running by paying a little to Amazon Data Services to setup a SQL Server with Express

Helpful Links to Learn SQL
  • W3Schools is a great read and lets you try code as you go. Master all their topics and pay special attention to table joins.
  • Khan Academy has a solid reputation. Don’t forget to practice as you listen.
  • Codecademy is a highly used source and let’s you practice with the lesson.
  • Lynda.com is not free, but it is very helpful and widely used.
  • Blog on other resources. Keep googling, keep reading.

Don’t Forget Stored Procedures
Stored procedures should not be over used but they are a good start. Try documenting each SQL lesson you have learned in a separate stored procedure
Other Helpful Links

Keep learning, never stand still…