What is Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)?

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a subset or subcategory within the broader business intelligence capabilities and disciplines. Within this space, you can build MOLAP (multidimensional OLAP), ROLAP (relational OLAP/direct query), and HOLAP (combined MOLAP/ROLAP – Hybrid OLAP) platforms for decision support.

This category of analytical processing involves tools and techniques optimized for standard and ad-hoc reporting and querying across an organization. These queries and reports seek to provide insights into how the business is performing as well as highlight areas where improvements can be made.

It certainly moves away from the two-dimensional spreadsheet of analytics into the multi-dimensional realm of analytics where cubes, dimensions, attributes, facts, and star schemas are foundational structures that support analytics.

Slicing, selecting a subset of multi-dimensional data, and dicing, further narrowing of the data set across more than two dimensions in the data cube allows analysts to get to information or data that can be used to answer questions or spot trends.

Drilling up, down across dimensions, to and from logical roll-ups (aggregated summary data levels), and pivoting data allows for different views of the data in a multidimensional cube that further provides insights into what has happened and facilitates answering operational and financial questions to management is asking.

Key technology provides in this space include Intelligence Server (Microstrategy), SSAS (Microsoft SQL Server Analytical Services), Oracle Hyperion Essbase, TM1 (IBM Cognos), SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) and SAS OLAP Server

Sonora & Associates OLAP Services

Sonora & Associates has over 10+ years of OLAP design and implementation across various platforms. We do specialize in Oracle Essbase and have played integral roles in Microsoft SQL Server and IBM TM1 technologies. We can efficiently design and build decisions support systems that turn data into information and insights.

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