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SQL: the programming language that continues to grow in popularity

Are you interested in IT? Then you may have seen the term Structured Query Language (SQL) before. After more than 40 years, SQL is still one of the most popular programming languages. Especially when you are just starting out in the IT world, the use of SQL is a godsend. SQL can best be described as a language that enables you to extract desired information from a database. But why is SQL so popular? After reading this blog, you will know why SQL is used by many people in the IT world!

How does SQL work?

Nowadays, many companies collect data and from this data companies can then filter the desired data. But how exactly do you obtain this data? For this, you need a programming language such as SQL. SQL can be seen as a language for communicating with your own (relational) database. By means of various commands, you are able to filter, modify or delete data from a database. For example, do you only want to retrieve the data of men from your database? With the command 'WHERE' you can retrieve these data. Do you want to sort the data in your database according to surnames? Then the command 'ORDER BY' is useful!

Webinar and training on SQL

Learnit offers the possibility to watch a short introduction webinar SQL, in which a number of important 'commands' are discussed and explained. Are you interested in learning this programming language? Check out our YouTube channel for our free webinar SQL! In addition, we also offer the possibility to follow a SQL Basis course at various training locations. Are you interested in our two-day SQL Basis course? Then click Here. Are you already familiar with SQL and do you wish to learn more about this programming language? Then our course SQL Continued course is just what you are looking for!

SQL in practice

These are three practical examples where SQL can come in handy if you work in the IT world:

  • SQL can be used to retain or delete certain data. Think, for example, of saving the data of someone who creates an account in your webshop. Isn't it convenient to keep this data?
  • By using SQL, you can combine data from different tables with a simple command. This is much faster than manually combining the data.
  • In addition, you can easily modify existing data in your database using SQL. Suppose, for example, that a customer wants to change his address. In such a case, it can be useful for your own administration to also change this address in your database.
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Web scraping with Python: data at your fingertips

Everyone uses them: websites where you can compare different products or services. Want to book a hotel? Click on the arrival date and fill in the destination on a site like expedia.co.uk which compares different hotels and prices of suppliers. Looking for new trainers? Type in trainers at beslist.nl and enter, for example, what size you are and what colour trainers you are looking for. This way you'll be able to find your perfect trainers. Handy anyway! The technique that makes it possible to search in this fast way, is also called webscraping.

What is web scraping?

Webscraping enables people to retrieve important data from a site or to search for certain characteristics on a website. Data can be retrieved or stored automatically and periodically. Website managers can use various programming languages to enable web scraping, including Python. The 'Beautiful Soup' module is very useful for web scraping, and 'numphy' and 'pandas' make analysis much easier. Webscraping ensures that visitors to a comparison website, for example, can easily and quickly find the information they require. Useful for websites like expedia.comExpedia, which actually knows how to make smart use of the data and information of other websites. Expedia attracts customers, as it were, because the company is able to bundle data from other websites in a smart way and display the page in such a way that it is attractive to consumers looking for a hotel.

Benefits of web scraping

The most important advantages of web scraping are listed below:

  • Automatically retrieve important data from a website
  • Easy way to get more insights through data analysis
  • Store usable data easily and quickly

In short: webscraping is useful for anyone who wants to learn how to get the most out of processing data from their own website!

Webinar and Training Python

Are you interested in webscraping and do you want to follow a short introduction webinar about it? Then click here to watch the past webinar of expert trainer André via our YouTube channel. Did you know that Learnit, next to webinars, also offers various trainings in Python on different levels? When you have no or little experience with Python, our training course Python programming basics is really something for you. In this three-day training, you are introduced to the basic concepts and functions in Python. Do you already have experience with programming in Python? Then the training Python programming continuation Then the training is something for you! To view our complete overview of training courses related to Python, please click here.

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What are the advantages of SharePoint?

The decision whether or not to use SharePoint can be a difficult one for organisations. Especially if you are not completely familiar with the programme. The possibilities with SharePoint seem endless and the applications are fairly diverse. In order to make the right choice, it is important to look at the needs of the users. Learnit has listed a number of SharePoint advantages for you, which may make the choice whether or not to use SharePoint easier for you!

  • Intranet in the cloud. The fact that SharePoint is available in the cloud is one of its greatest advantages. Regardless of your location, the intranet can be accessed via desktop, tablet, smartphone or laptop. This makes the programme attractive and simple now that working from different locations is the new norm. In addition, SharePoint is always up-to-date, which means less time and cost spent on maintenance and updates.
  • Smart collaboration. Sharing documents is easy because SharePoint is a social platform. You can create different team sites where people from the same team can create and share documents. This makes collaboration effective and efficient.
  • One integral platform. SharePoint is integrated with Microsoft Teams, the Microsoft Office Suite and back-office systems. As a result, all necessary information is accessible via one portal, making information management a lot easier.
  • Work safely. Business information, personal data and sensitive documents need the best security. SharePoint has taken various safety measures to prevent data leaks, for example. In addition, documents can be safely shared with external parties such as clients or partners.
  • Personalisation without a developer. With SharePoint, the Intranet can be set up entirely according to your own wishes and needs, without the help of a developer. In addition, you no longer have to enter data manually, which means you avoid incorrect and duplicate data.
  • Smart search function. In large, complex intranet sites, it can be difficult to find the right, specific information. SharePoint has an extensive search function that immediately shows documents or intranet pages that match the search query.
  • Intelligent workplace. SharePoint has interesting features through the use of Artificial Intelligence, such as the chatbot to which employees can put questions. The functionalities offered by AI are being developed further and further as more data is available and there are more users.

Training or E-learning SharePoint

Did you know that Learnit offers both trainings and an E-learning in SharePoint? During our training SharePoint Basic you will get to work with the possibilities for end users as well as setting up and designing a site yourself. The core of the training SharePoint Advanced The core of the training is setting up and managing more complex sites. Would you rather work with SharePoint at your own pace? Then take a look at our E-learning SharePoint. link]

The 5 reports of Google Analytics explained

Big Data has become a common term in the marketing and IT world in recent years. By making good use of Big Data, you can obtain important information and insights that can help your company improve its marketing strategy. One tool that many companies use for this purpose is Google Analytics. Always wanted to know how Google Analytics exactly works and what you can do with it? Below, the 5 reports that you will find in the program are explained in outline!

The reports

The 5 (main) reports that Google Analytics displays:

  • Realtime: the name of the report says it all, because this report gives you the most current data. So are you curious which visitors are currently on your website or do you want to know which item on your website is hot right now? Then just grab the realtime report! With this report you will also be able to analyse whether new items on your website are catching on or not. You can also use this report to easily analyse which channels visitors use to reach your website. Think of visitors who arrive at your website by clicking on an Instagram post that links to your website.
  • Target group: The terms "target group formulation" and "segmentation" will sound familiar to marketers. With the target group report, you are able to see from which city/area your visitors come or what age your visitors are. You can also analyse what interests your visitors or what device they use (mobile, laptop etc.) to visit your website. With this report you will be able to find out everything about your website visitors, which will allow you to respond to the wishes/needs of the different segments or target groups you can distinguish.
  • Acquisition: which campaigns on your website are performing well and which campaigns should you discontinue? The acquisition report gives you direct insight into your own marketing and campaign activities. Also, if you are interested in comparing different visitor channels, this report offers a solution. Did you know that if you link AdWords to your Google Analytics account, you can also manage the information of your various campaigns within this report? So, link it quickly!
  • Behaviour: This report can give you all the information about the behaviour of your unique visitors. For example, you can think of information about how long visitors are active on your website or which specific page visitors leave most quickly. In short, with this report you will be able to analyse the engagement of users on your website. Questions that can be answered with this report are for example: 'Are some paths on your website more important than others?' or 'Do visitors go straight to the checkout after adding products to their shopping cart?
  • Conversions: The last report is all about results. Results of everything you might be interested in. For example, how many visitors buy product X or how many visitors register on your website. In other words, do you want to see if your goals have been met or which ones you can improve? The conversions report has the answer for you! Find out, for example, what the average number of days is before visitors convert or discover the total number of conversions per week on your website.

The 5 main reports that Google Analytics gives you, consist of many small sub reports where you can find much more information than we have described above. Conclusion: by making good use of Google Analytics, you can optimise your business strategy!

Google Analytics course

Are you curious about Google Analytics after reading this blog and would you like to learn more about it? Then click here for more information about our one-day training Google Analytics Basics. Are you already familiar with Google Analytics but do you want to know how to get more out of the programme? Then check out our one-day Google Analytics Professional training by here Click for more information.

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Internet of Things: Advantages and disadvantages

More and more devices are becoming connected to each other and to the internet. Just think of the 'smart' thermostat in your house, the alarm clock in your bedroom or perhaps your Google Home speaker. Research has shown that by 2020, more than 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet. The connections between all these devices is called the 'Internet of Things'.

What is the Internet of Things?

In short, the Internet of Things consists of all devices connected to the Internet. These devices are able to communicate with the Internet and with each other, and they can send data into the cloud without human intervention. This automation saves costs and reduces the physical effort required of people. This sounds fantastic, of course, but on the other hand, people are also criticising the Internet of Things. Some people are afraid that technology will eventually take over the world, and others point out the possible problems with privacy.

Benefits of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has several advantages, here are the three most important ones:

  • Time-saving. First of all, it saves a lot of time that devices can communicate automatically with each other and the internet without human intervention. An example of this is a smart thermostat; it can tell you via an app exactly what your energy consumption is and how you can save on it. When a human being has to give this feedback to you, you can imagine that it takes more time and effort.
  • Cost-saving. Human activity is reduced through the use of devices that are constantly connected to the Internet and to each other. This means that certain jobs will not be needed, or will be needed less, which in turn will save companies and individuals money.
  • Convenience. Many smart devices can be controlled remotely these days. Think of a video doorbell, where you can remotely see who is at your front door. Not only are you able to see immediately who is at your front door using the app, you can also communicate directly with someone at your door. Smart devices therefore increase the ease of use.

Disadvantages of the Internet of Things

Besides the many advantages that the Internet of Things offers, there are also a number of objections:

  • Everything revolves around technology. Technology is indispensable nowadays, the question is when will the world have enough technology? Many people wonder whether it is good that so much of life revolves around technology and whether it would not be wiser to return to more simple times. Aren't we becoming too dependent on technology and therefore less sharp? In addition, this new technology is also causing jobs to disappear, as much of the work can be taken over by technology.
  • Hackers. Smart devices are increasing data traffic, making it more and more interesting for hackers to hack into devices. Especially data sent over free wireless networks (wifi) is easy to intercept.
  • Privacy is at risk. When hackers have intercepted data, it can be at the expense of your privacy. Imagine that you remotely switch on and off the lights of your house during a holiday by means of an app that is connected to lamps in your house. When a hacker realises that you do this by using an app instead of physically turning on the lights, he or she knows exactly when you are or are not at home. As you can imagine, this is valuable information for burglars.

Using the Internet of Things for your own organisation?

The Internet of Things offers many opportunities for organisations, but also a number of challenges. To ensure that your organisation can make a flying start by deploying the Internet of Things, Learnit offers a training 'Internet of Things'. During this 2-day training you learn all about the terminology, application possibilities, but also about the security surrounding the Internet of Things. Click here for more information about the training.

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How do you prepare for an online 2021?

In the meantime, it is slowly becoming clear that most of us will be sitting at home until at least the middle of 2021 and will therefore have to work at home. This means that for the coming year, too, there will be many online work activities on the agenda. How can you best prepare yourself and your organisation for an online 2021? In this blog, we will explain which training courses are the perfect fit for online work!

1. Search engine optimisation (SEO). How do you ensure that you attract as many visitors as possible to your website? Search engine optimisation, also known as SEO, is the solution! Learnit offers a course in which not only the basic principles of search engine optimisation are shared with you, but in which you also work on your practical skills. For example, learn how to analyse and optimise your own website. This way, you can get the most out of your website and web traffic in 2021!

2. Online marketing. Developments on the Internet are taking place at a rapid pace. Online marketing is a theme that played an important role for many organisations last year, and the expectation is that online marketing will possibly play an even bigger role in 2021. Can your organisation still learn a thing or two when it comes to online marketing? Then take a look at our new 7-day online marketing course. During this comprehensive course, you will learn all the skills necessary to put your organisation firmly on the (online) map. Topics that are covered during this course are: search engine optimisation, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, e-commerce, social media marketing and content marketing.

3. Power BI Basics. Now that we (almost) no longer see or speak to each other physically on the work floor, it can sometimes be difficult to convey certain information to colleagues. Think about financial reports for example. For this kind of information, it can be useful to use a visualisation tool that allows you to easily show colleagues what is going on from a distance. One of the most popular visualisation tools is Power BI. Learnit offers a 2-day Power BI course, in which you learn to create effective management reports using your Excel data. In this way, Power BI allows you to create an interactive management dashboard, in which you can easily visualise and share data with your colleagues. Ideal for transferring information!

4. Agile Scrum Basics. Scrum is nothing but an Agile framework, which stands for more effective and flexible work. The Agile way of working allows for working in self-managing teams, which is extremely useful for planning more complex projects. The focus of Scrum is on the communication within these projects, but also on the interaction between departments and towards customers. Now that online working is the order of the day, you see many companies making use of this structured way of (online) working. Are you curious whether working according to this style is something for your organisation? Then take a look at our Agile Scrum Basic training. During this training you will not only learn the theory around this method, but also the skills that come with it play an important role. Did you know that there is the possibility to take an official exam after the course, after which you can call yourself Scrum Master or Scrum Product Owner? Click on the training course or inquire about the possibilities.

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What is Django? And what can you do with it?

If you have worked with Python before, the name Django may seem familiar to you. Django is the largest open source web framework written in Python. This framework is relatively easy to use, flexible and also very reliable for, for instance, developing applications. This has made Django one of the most popular frameworks for creating web applications, websites and online platforms, among others. Read this blog to find out what you can use Django for.

Django was developed in 2003 by Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison and the framework was first released as an open source project in 2005. Three years later, the Django Software Foundation was established to continue the development of Django. Meanwhile, Django has become an extremely popular framework in combination with Python. Did you know that even Google uses this framework? Even popular social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest use Django for their websites and applications!

What is Django?

In short, Django consists of a set of libraries that allow you as a programmer to build a web application relatively quickly and easily. You can think of functions such as: storing data in a relational database, sending e-mails and generating web pages. Django also features a handy admin interface. For example, a programmer who uses Django can use the built-in admin interface to ensure that the administrator of a system can easily adjust or edit data. This is ideal for allowing someone besides the programmer to make changes to the system. Other strengths of the Django framework in support include authentication, templates for forms and file uploading. Due to the development of numerous packages and its mature ecosystem, the Django community is constantly improving it. Are you curious about which packages are available on the market? Then take a look at djangopackages.org. One important element of Django has already been mentioned, but deserves to be emphasised again. Django uses Python: the best and easiest programming language in the world so you can quickly make a good web application or site.

What can you do with Django?

Django is ideally suited for setting up:

  • CRM systems
  • CMSs
  • Software for communication and cooperation
  • Online booking and appointment systems
  • Property management systems
  • Document management systems

Training Django

Did you know that Learnit will soon offer a free webinar about Django? In this half-hour webinar, trainer André will tell you everything you can do with Django, and why Django is easy to use. Moreover, receive some practical tips about programming in Django. Sign up quickly for this free webinar, by here clicking here. In addition, Learnit offers a Django programming training, aimed at developers who would like to learn to use the Django framework to develop web applications in Python. Interested in this training? Then click here for more information.

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Big data - 5 common questions

Big data is a term that seems to be appearing more and more frequently in the business world. Multinationals and larger companies, in particular, seem to be using big data a lot. But when exactly do we talk about big data? And can big data also be meaningful for your business? In this blog, we will address 5 common questions about big data.

1. What is big data?

We speak of big data when the data meets three different conditions: it is data that is generated in large quantities (Volume), at a high speed (Velocity) and the data must be diverse (Variety). In other words, the data must satisfy the three Rs. In case you are wondering what a 'large' volume of data is: we are talking about data volumes expressed in exabytes. This means that if we are talking about 1 exabyte, we are talking about the number 1 with 18 zeros.

2. Where does big data come from?

Big data can be generated from various channels. This includes data from social media channels, transactional data from the business world, but also, for example, data from machines. In short, big data is everywhere. You can actually see it as a collection of information.

3. What is the difference between structured and unstructured data?

When we talk about data, we can distinguish between two different types of data. Structured data is data that is easy to work with, data that already has some kind of structure: think of a company's customer database. This often contains data such as name, age and gender, neatly sorted into different columns. However, we are often dealing with unstructured data. Think, for example, of social media data such as a Twitter or Facebook message. This data is much more difficult to analyse because there is no standard format for such data, there is no fixed structure in a Facebook message.

4. Is big data only used by 'big' companies?

Big data is as big as your business. Relatively large companies will obviously have a larger data flow and therefore need more data tools than smaller companies. This does not mean that collecting (big) data is not useful for smaller companies. Why you should start collecting big data today? There are many reasons for collecting data, but the most important ones are to optimise your company's profitability and customer satisfaction. We probably don't need to explain that such things are important for every business.

5. How can I work with (big) data myself?

Although people are working more and more with data and there are more and more data (visualisation) tools available, it remains difficult to work with data yourself if you are not yet at home in the IT world. It can therefore be useful to start with a course. Learnit offers various courses to help you understand the possibilities of big data or to teach you how to work with data. Take a look at our courses Big data, Google Analytics Basics or SQL Basics.