The paper addresses those researchers who would like to go beyond the specific MR packages available to them and themselves manipulate the raw data to get further insights. The first part of the article compares and contrasts primarily the mainframe and minicomputer option on the one hand, with the currently emerging LAN option.on the other. It conclusively proves that the LAN option offers cost effective solution with near limitless upgrade- ability and state of art security and confidentiality features. The second part of the article evaluates the software options - 3 GLs and enabling software - for development of tailormade software packages. It concludes that a mixed software platform using the best features of the available software languages and enabling software is perhaps the best option, except that it also makes a strong justification for maintaining the data - input intermediate and output-in some enabling software format rather than as ASCII files or in some other arcane and inaccessible format. Finally, it concludes that as far as adhoc data manipulation needs of Researchers are concerned, they stand to benefit most by adopting packages that are powerful, have non-overlapping functionality, are user- friendly and between themselves cover all possible data manipulation needs. It goes on to identify and briefly explain three such packages, viz. Reflex, Paradox! and PC Express.