Long before Basic came along, there was JOSS, my first real-time language. Being able to pull immediate graphs of research results (U of Calif) and then play what-if games with modified inputs was far more revolutionary for us than whatever it was the Students for a Democratic Society was setting fire to out in the quad. It was implemented on a new mainframe operating system that doled out tiny slices of processor time (in those days the processor was the second room on the left) on a rotating basis to each of perhaps ten users pecking away on IBM 1050 typewriter terminals. In the ten minutes or so between OS crashes, you could refine your research model a little more.
Unfortunately, databases still lived only on card decks and open-reel tape, which in any case were only accessible to the batch programs that ran after hours. You had to initialize every element of your model's input array in code, and then manually modify it as you got results.