Imagine that you are newly arrived on planet Earth and faced with going to a public library. You are completely unaware of how a library works, but you understand books themselves. You enter and start to look at every single book until you find one on your chosen subject - possibly something along the lines of Social Etiquette for Earth Visitors. Having found this book, you go away, read it and return the next day to find another book on the same subject. You start again from the very beginning, looking at every book (including all the ones you looked at yesterday and found no interest in), until you find another book on the same subject. You patiently continue to do this, day after day, until someone offers to help you.

Why am I harping on about such a case? Well, it seems to me that the above method is the main means the majority of companies utilize in dealing with their own data. When a report is required, it is run against the complete database, often day after day, replicating the same searches it has done many times before.

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