Kevin Hill tries something out:
I was chatting with Jeff (b|t) on my team yesterday and the context escapes me but I had this thought:
“Can you Group By the beginning characters, or a subset, of a field?”
I’m not a developer, so this question never comes my way. Except yesterday.
Click through for the answer. Mind you, this is unlikely to perform well, but if you’re looking at a small enough dataset or need a one-time query and can afford a full scan of the data, so be it.