Practical Example: Customer Service Department
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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.


To get started though, I think the best way to do this and the best way to really do some hands-on work, and pick a database so at the end of this class, you're ready to maybe start a basic deployment, and follow along in some labs around databases, is we'll go through an exercise on screen, and you can follow along, and answer those five questions about which database fits your use case. And then maybe at the end of this, be comfortable in deploying a small instance of that. 

So to dive right in, I'm going to take myself into the shoes of a customer service manager. I personally will be in charge of a premium coffee beans subscription service that has to ship beans to everybody in North America. My boss wants to understand the top five issues raised by customers. And this could either be from phone support, email, or maybe form submitted through the company website.

So there's a lot of information coming in from a lot of different sources. It all relates to customer service, but it might be in extremely different formats. To add a little bit more of a twist to my job, I think I need to have categorized product information, and I also need to be able to update in real time because this coffee beans subscription service that we're running is going to take over America, and we need the best of the best.

Take a minute to pause here perhaps note down a little bit about your use case. Remember you don't need to have the answers yet. Just note down what you're looking to accomplish at a very high level.

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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