The aim of the SQLview project is to create a digital environment where the syntactic structure of SQL queries are visualised.
The visualisation approach is designed to enhance the understanding of arbitrary SQL queries at the syntactic level, with semantic cues illustrating both intermediate values and errors in the construction of SQL queries.
In addition SQLview will show the constructs of the query, opening it up to consideration and learning by highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the query and its results
This will show what is going wrong in the SQL construct as it relates to the RDMS and importantly where it is going wrong.
What does it do:
At present feedback from database queries is presented at the semantic level, simply illustrating the linkages being created by the different tables’ relationships in the database at the primary and secondary key level, showing if relationships were constructed as one to one or one to many.
This is an illustration of a database query at the semantic level (from Snowflake):
How is it done:
SQLview will build on the techniques developed for the EQUS solution that visualised queries generated in spreadsheets such as Excel. Here detailed syntactic queries (that can be created using any function of Excel) are illustrated in the EQUS view pane to allow a user to understand numeric operator precedence and illustrate intermediate values for the complete calculation or up to a point of error where the query cannot be resolved by the spreadsheet.
SQLview is viewed therefore as an experiential learning environment designed to be used to teach students about SQL query constructs.
Why do we need it:
Our market research for SQLview indicates a skills shortage of data scientists in a massively expanding market driven by the increasing amounts of data being generated by modern database driven systems such as CRM, ERP, LMS, LRS, CMS, HRS, TMS etc…..
What are the benefits:
SQL view is designed to enhance teaching and understanding of database queries in higher education and further education and possibly UTCs and IT apprenticeships.
In addition we are paying close attention to the research from NESTA and Innovate UK which indicates that many decision makers in organisations need to grasp the potential of data analytics (big data) in the day to day and we firmly believe that SQLview will play a role in the corporate training market as part of larger training packages aimed at understanding big data analytics from a business perspective. This was referred to by NESTA and Gartner as the democratisation of big data.
Despite SQL being the traditional query language for databases it is still highly relevant within the big data context (see: Yasin N. Silva, Isadora Almeida, and Michell Queiroz. 2016. SQL: From Traditional Databases to Big Data. In Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education (SIGCSE ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 413-418. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2839509.2844560).