What is ad hoc analysis?
An ad hoc analysis in IT is usually defined as a technology or effort that points to a single use or question or purpose for a given scenario. The opposite of this is a comprehensive, broad-based analysis that is reused and often based on aggregated data.
Examples of ad hoc analysis might include a software application that allows users to enter specific analytical questions about business data. For example, if the company has a large sales database and the user wants to find a unique sales result for a specific scenario, they will create a single report that will run once and provide that unique result. Further reports would be generated separately through subsequent efforts.
Although ad hoc analysis tools are inherently defined as single use tools, experts point out that some types of ad hoc analysis can be run multiple times or can be useful on an ongoing basis.
Another way to understand ad hoc analysis is that it is a very different type of analysis than the analytical philosophies that have sparked such monumental IT changes in recent years. The idea of big data, or of huge amounts of business intelligence information controlled by cloud systems, comes before the idea of obtaining comprehensive or first-class analyzes that are sophisticated, continuous and based on a broad aggregation of data.
Ad hoc analysis is different - it looks for a single result, not a comprehensive one. There are many ways to conduct ad hoc analysis, including using software applications, database queries, or other technologies and techniques.