Jane Solves Her Business Analysis Problem

analysis, SQL basics, business

Jane has a data problem and an overdue report. Will SQL save the day?

Jane works as a business analyst for a large London bank. As she walks to the station on Monday morning, she’s thinking about last week’s unfinished work. She couldn’t get the data she needed from IT, so she could not deliver her report on a financial product’s non-performing assets. She absolutely must submit the report to her manager today; she’s already delayed it for more than a week.

At the office, Jane sees Mike, who was supposed to help her with the data. He is still under pressure from a Priority 1 issue and advises Jane to ask Kate, another IT team member, for help.

Jane thinks that her week is starting very badly indeed.

What Does Jane Need?

Jane has been using the same spreadsheet for years, but it is not helping her now. She has two sheets of data. One contains customer names and their outstanding balances and the other contains all the transactions made by these customers (which have led to an account overdraft). She needs to correlate the people with the transactions and get a list of customers with long-standing overdrafts. This will enable her bank to decide what to do with these accounts.

Correlating the two spreadsheet pages could have solved her issue. Knowing this doesn’t make things easier for Jane, especially when her boss Travis stops by her office. Jane explains that the IT department is too busy and she’ll need to get help from Kate instead of Mike. Travis isn’t too happy that Jane had to go to the IT department for help on this matter.

Kate arrives, transfers Jane’s spreadsheet to her own laptop, and loads the data from the spreadsheet into a database. She loads the sheets into separate tables and asks Jane for the report format. About 20 minutes go by, and the report is done.

Jane is surprised that it took Kate so little time. How did she do it? Kate explains how she used SQL to combine the data and create the report.
Jane realizes that if she knew SQL, she could have finished her report on time. Not to mention that she could’ve avoided irritating Travis.

Jane Needs SQL For Business Analysis

Jane has a degree in commerce, but no programming background. Nevertheless, she decides to learn SQL, or at least enough to do her reports. Kate mentions that she learnt SQL using a series of online courses by Vertabelo Academy. She specifically recommends three courses that Jane can use to solve her business problems:

  1. The beginner-level SQL Queries course
  2. The Operating on Data in SQL course
  3. The Creating Tables in SQL course

Jane checks out the courses Kate recommended. She begins to feel excited. The biggest problem she faces as a business analyst is getting insights from the data, but the only tool she has is her Excel spreadsheet. If she knew SQL, she would be less dependent on the IT department to get her data for her. With these courses, she could learn at her own pace and for a reasonable fee. As a working mom, both factors appeal to Jane very much.

Soon, Jane understands the concepts of relational databases, SQL queries, and two-dimensional data formats. She can correlate her own spreadsheet data now. She’s even downloaded a database and started experimenting with writing her own queries. In fact, she’s thinking about pursuing data science further one day.

Jane is happy that she has more control over her work. No more waiting for IT to help! Travis is happy that Jane can deliver her reports on time, and he’s asking for additional insights based on her reports. And Kate is happy to have really helped Jane solve her problem.

If you’d like to learn more about SQL, check out this blog, the Vertabelo blog, and Vertabelo Academy! The courses are free to try, and the blogs are written by professionals with lots of experience in business database applications.

Ramkumar Balasubramanian

Fellow @ Wipro Ltd.