An ad hoc query is simply a one-time request for information from a database. (Ad hoc is Latin for ‘for this purpose.)
Many database reports are standardized and are used repeatedly. They cover the vast majority of typical operations management needs.
Ad hoc queries, though, play a big role in Lean. Often, the questions that teams have during a kaizen event cannot be answered with standard reporting functionality. A common mistake is to try to force that data to match the problem at hand. Generally, this doesn’t provide the breakthrough insight that teams need.
Ad hoc queries fill those gaps in information that let kaizen teams find creative solutions to problems.