NoSQL vs SQL - seriously, it's based on the need
I've done both the 'simple text file' method AND SQL databases for decades. It's really all based on the need.
If you have a bunch of text data, you can often use simple command line tools and shell scripts. Sometimes that makes the most sense. I've done a lot of analysis on data like that.
Sometimes the SQL utility can be used to 'spit out' the columns of data that another tool can crunch to provide charts, etc. and now you have a 'hybrid' solution that is controlled with a shell script or PHP backend.
It's all based on what the needs are. Having to pick one or the other isn't very creative.
(My preference is PostgreSQL though, for the SQL side)
Main point, of course, is that one or the other solution isn't "superior", just different.
(the most fun solution I did, multiple times in fact, was to create a series of time-based 3D charts from x,y,z text data using gnuplot, then string them together into a video using mencoder's "bunch of jpegs" feature, and play the video to watch the changes in the chart output over time. Built with shell scripts. at the end I added background music to the video to make it more fun. However, watching the video led me to discover a software bug in how the IMU data was being interpreted. Who knew?)