3.5.3 Ad-hoc query results

Ad-hoc query results respond to very particular questions that analysts encounter. For example, an analyst may find in an interview a reference to an unnamed adult male person who was killed in a certain county in July, 1994. The analyst may then ask the database for the names of all the victims of arbitrary execution who fit those specifications, that is, men killed in a certain county in July, 1994. The results of the query may provide a starting point for investigators to use to put together information that emerged in different interviews. Queries may not seem like outputs which stand alone, and in fact they should not be thought of as organizational products to be presented by themselves; case summaries and statistics typically fill that role. Instead, queries are a way for the information management system to feed ideas and questions back into the organization's work. In this way the information management system is not a rigid system passing information from sources through to reports. Rather, ad-hoc queries help the organization to recognize incongruities between data sources, areas that need additional attention, or kinds of violation which seem to be the most important.

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