Ad Hoc Query


Definition: An ad hoc query is an analysis run on-demand because no standard report already exists. Ad hoc query may also refer to the unanticipated question for which no ready answer exists.

What This Means: When an action or decision requires data but there is no standard, pre-defined, or existing report available, then special effort is required to generate a custom report. Ad hoc queries cause inefficiencies in information systems and organizations. The goal should be to standardize reports as much as practical to avoid ad hoc queries. Reporting tools running on a data store or warehouse allow the user to run ad hoc queries as long as the data are already in the data store. In some cases the ad hoc query tool requires that the data already be calculated into statistics rather than being able to calculate any statistic on demand. (See OLAP.)


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