Sybase IQ is optimized for data warehouse type applications, where data is added to databases but typically not modified much if at all, and the typical access is to search through the data.

The column based storage which enables good performance for reading through data somewhat slows down writing data (instead of just the last data object requiring updating with a row object, one data object per table column must be updated). Large volume data imports can still be reasonably efficient.

Performance in a transactional environment, where row records are accessed and updated regularly, is significantly worse than competing transactional row-based relational databases.

Sybase IQ is implemented at large organizations such as SEC.