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Large Chunks of Data

By Steve Jones,

This editorial was originally published on Sept 17, 2010. It is being re-run as Steve is on vacation.

I saw a post recently where someone talked about trying to get better performance from a report. They were selecting 5mm rows from a table and wanted to see if there was a more efficient way to chunk out this data so that the instance would not report memory errors.

My first question is what kind of report has 5mm rows of data? That's just too much data.

How long can a report be?

From your experience, talking with people, looking at what they analyze, how big is a report? How much data can you really display on a report and make it useful for users?

I'm thinking here in terms of the raw data you show. A pivot table can summarize millions of records, but realistically I thin kit becomes hard to examine more than a few hundred data points on a page. Whether they are raw data or aggregates of other data, it seems there's some limit to what a report should provide.

After all, that's why we have drill-down :)

Let us know this Friday what you think; what you have observed? Maybe we'll  help others to build better reports that are more practical and useful to end users, as well as easier to develop.

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Steve Jones
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Steve Jones