What You Need to Know about MySQL for Data Analysis

We did the research and pulled together some useful articles on MySQL so you don’t have to! Read this page to find out some great information on this open-source relational database so you can decide on your analytics database.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. MySQL is currently owned by Oracle and MySQL is free and open-sourced under the terms of the GNU General Public License and available under a variety of proprietary licenses.

MySQL is considered one of the leading choices as a database for web-based applications, it is a component of the LAMP web application software stack and is used by many database-driven web applications such as Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress.

For more on MySQL, refer to the official website and documentation.

When should you use MySQL?

Data type and structure

MySQL is ideal for storing application data, specifically web application data. Additionally you should use MySQL if you need a relational database which stores data across multiple tables. As MySQL is a relational database, it's a good fit for applications that rely heavily on multi-row transactions.

Some examples of MySQL use cases are for social network applications, e-commerce websites, or government applications.


Depending on your operations staff, your organization may value enterprise support and require the insurance provided with 24/7 uptime, specialized cluster services and master/slave replication configurations that can be acquired with MySQL. The support and uptime also results in a reduced total cost of ownership from saving troubleshooting time and resources for solving performance problems.

Read more on why to choose MySQL:

The Benefits of Using MySQL for Analysis

As a business database, there are many benefits to choosing MySQL, we have listed just a few below:

MySQL is easy to install and it is an easy database to work with. There is comprehensive documentation, a community of developers, and adherence to the standard SQL. There are third-party tools available (such as phpMyAdmin) to simplify the setup process.

MySQL is a secure database with support for transactional processing, which is beneficial especially if used for money transfers. MySQL provides data protection features, data encryption, SSH and SSL support. There are also mechanisms to restrict server access and block users.

MySQL’s storage-engine framework allows system administrators the ability to configure MySQL for great performance. You can use MySQL up to high storage limits with the proper optimizations, allowing you to meet high query demands.

The Limitations of Using MySQL for Analysis

Although MySQL adheres to the SQL standard, it is not in full SQL compliance, and thus has several functional limitations, such as lacking support for FULL JOIN clauses.

While MySQL is available open-sourced, it also licensed under paid commercial editions, and not all of MySQL’s features and plugins are available under the GNU General Public License. Additionally as MySQL is owned by Oracle Corporation, the development process is slower than a pure open-sourced database such as PostgreSQL.

Running Data Analysis on MySQL

Choosing MySQL for your reporting database is only the first step to using your database for analysis.

Most of the time when you are using MySQL as one of your data sources, you will want to migrate your MySQ data into a warehouse to consolidate with your other data sources and visualize it against your other analytics. That there are many ETL processes and tools available to pipe data out of MySQL and into a warehouse.

We recommend the following for learning how to move your data out of MySQL:

Finally, you will want to choose how to visualize the data insights you are pulling from MySQL. MySQL integrates well with almost any business intelligence, reporting and visualization option, so choosing your analytics tool depends more on your business needs rather than any MySQL limitations.

Learn more about visualizing MySQL with Chartio: