How Do You Choose a Database Type?
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This course discusses some of the fundamental concepts of data management and looks at the differences between spreadsheets and databases for managing data. We'll look at some specific examples to understand when spreadsheets makes sense and when it makes sense to switch over to a database, which is sometimes a much better option for more complex datasets. 

Specifically, this course aims to give students a practical hands-on introduction to database concepts. In addition, we'll gain an understanding of how to select the right database and we'll go through the basics of setting up an RDS instance on Amazon. This course includes a practical example of a company that is looking to choose a database, to give you an understanding of how databases work in the real world.

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Learning Objectives

  • Understand the difference between spreadsheets and databases and when to use one or the other
  • Learn about the different types of database available and the various features and characteristics to consider
  • Learn how to choose the right database
  • Learn how to deploy an Amazon Aurora instance

Intended Audience

This course is designed for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge of databases and understand when it makes sense to use them as opposed to a spreadsheet.


To get the most out of this course, you should already have a basic understanding of simple data structures such as comma-separated values, as well as an understanding of cloud concepts in general.


Now, for those of you still with us, you might be kinda swimming around thinking, how do you choose the right database? Maybe you have a little bit of an idea, but let's go to an exercise similar to what we did with, should you select a spreadsheet or a database, that kind of dives into how do you pick the right database.

To reiterate one final time, if you go through this exercise and you have a good idea of the database you think you want, go search the Cloud Academy archives for a deeper dive on that specific database to shore up any assumptions that might have been made, but typically, you have to go through what is the structure of the data, what does the size of the data, what are the speed and scalability, what is the redundancy requirements, and what types of operations do you need.

There's lots of exercises around the Vs of data, volume, velocity, veracity, but just think in terms of all the acronyms and all the pneumonic devices you can use to remember this, just think, if you can answer these five questions, maybe go through it with us, you could pick a great database to get started with.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Calculated Systems was founded by experts in Hadoop, Google Cloud and AWS. Calculated Systems enables code-free capture, mapping and transformation of data in the cloud based on Apache NiFi, an open source project originally developed within the NSA. Calculated Systems accelerates time to market for new innovations while maintaining data integrity.  With cloud automation tools, deep industry expertise, and experience productionalizing workloads development cycles are cut down to a fraction of their normal time. The ability to quickly develop large scale data ingestion and processing  decreases the risk companies face in long development cycles. Calculated Systems is one of the industry leaders in Big Data transformation and education of these complex technologies.

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