What would you do to help more than 40 scientists, coming together from all over the US for 2 days, extract high-level insights from a pile of loosely-linked spreadsheets? In this talk, I will discuss our field experiment using SQL-as-a-Service to support “instant analysis” of oceanographic data in real-time. I will tell you about our work as “SQL stenographers” – capturing scientific discussion in real-time, integrating relevant data, and populating visualizations to help test hypotheses interactively. We found that not only was it feasible to support interactive Q&A on the fly, but that we significantly increased the value of the meeting’s “face time”. With this field test, we also uncovered new research challenges for database systems to support scientific query.