Columnar databases are becoming an essential component of an enterprise infrastructure for the storage of data designed to run specific workloads. When an organization embraces the value of performance, it must do everything it can to remove barriers to the delivery of the right information at the right time to the right people and systems. There is no “ERP” for post-operational data. No one-size-fits-all system. Some gave that role to the relational, row-based data warehouse, but that ship has sailed. In addition to columnar databases, very-large data stores like Hadoop, real-time stream processing, and data virtualization are required today to bring together result sets across all data systems. This paper focuses on conveying an understanding of columnar databases and the proper utilization of columnar databases within the enterprise.