SQL Server does have a fairly useful dynamic management view, or DMV, which provides insight that can be leveraged in this area. The DMV I’m talking about is the set of DMVs around missing indexes, consisting of
sys.dm_db_missing_index_details, etc. I’m not saying the missing indexes DMVs are a panacea that will enable you to fix every performance situation you run into, but they can be useful if you know where to look. This post doesn’t go into a lot of depth about how to use those DMVs for the purpose of actually creating indexes, however I will show you how you can create multi-column stats objects as an interim performance booster while evaluating the need for those indexes.
I’ve never had great luck with multi-column stats versus simply creating indexes but that could simply be a case of me doing it wrong.