Summary and Setup
Databases are useful for both storing and using data effectively. Using a relational database serves several purposes.
- It keeps your data separate from your analysis. This means there’s no risk of accidentally changing data when you analyze it.
- If we get new data we can rerun a query to find all the data that meets certain criteria.
- It’s fast, even for large amounts of data.
- It improves quality control of data entry (type constraints and use of forms in Access, Filemaker, etc.)
- The concepts of relational database querying are core to understanding how to do similar things using programming languages such as R or Python.
This lesson will teach you what relational databases are, how you can load data into them and how you can query databases to extract just the information that you need.
Data Carpentry’s teaching is hands-on, so participants are encouraged
to use their own computers to insure the proper setup of tools for an
These lessons assume no prior knowledge of the skills or tools.
This lesson requires:
- Working copy of DB Browser for SQLite for SQL
- A dataset
Follow the directions in the Setup section to download both the DB Browser for SQLite and the data to your computer and follow any installation instructions.
Please make sure to install everything before working through this lesson.
If you are teaching this lesson in a workshop, please see the Instructor notes.
If you are working on this lesson on your own, you can move the zipped data file to anywhere on your computer where it is easy to access, and unzip the files. If you are working on this lesson as part of a workshop, your instructor may advise you to unzip the data files in a specific location.
See the Ecology Workshop Overview Page for more details about the data set.
Download DB Browser for SQLite for your operating system from https://sqlitebrowser.org/dl/. DB Browser for SQLite is a visual tool to create, edit, and query SQLite databases. SQLite is included with DB Browser for SQLite, so it does not have to be installed separately.
- There are a few options for Windows, but most modern computers can
Standard installer for 64-bit Windowsversion
.zip (no installer)version can be run directly from the folder, after extracting the contents of the zip file. It will not show up in the
Launch DB Browser for SQLite to confirm that the installation was successful.