First, if the term SPARQL is new to you it’s important to clarify the following: SPARQL is not a typo, and it is not SQL’s long-lost cousin.
SPARQL is the standard query language and protocol for retrieving Linked Data from the web or RDF triple stores. Basically, if your information follows the RDF standard of being composed by a subject, predicate, and object, or it can be mapped to follow that standard, it can be queried by SPARQL.
When reading about Linked Data and the Semantic Web you might not realize that one of the main objectives these standards aim for is improving the value of data. A way of achieving this is making data readable to computers.