So in my last post I came up with a way to use DBCC IND and DBCC PAGE to view pages indirectly, so the stats don't get updated.
Here's a simpler way, albeit with more impact.
Make an index, then look at the histogram.
For instance, I have an auditing table. I want to see the last time rows were inserted into it.
In this case, we do two things:
CREATE INDEX NCIDX_TABLENAME_FIELDNAME ON TABLENAME (FIELDNAME)
This does NOT affect the "user%" fields in the DMV (SYS.DM_DB_INDEX_USAGE_STATS).
(as you can see, still unseen)
Next step: view the histogram.
DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS (tablename, NCIDX_TABLENAME_FIELDNAME) with HISTOGRAM
So what's that show us? That from 4/27 to 5/22 there were 4 rows, of which 1 was at 4/27 8:40. It also shows there was one on 5/22 at 8:24. And our indexes are still clean - so when we look again at historical usage of the table, it comes back clean.