Learn OLAP and Business Intelligence

What is OLAP and What are the Advantages?

OLAP is an acronym for Online Analytical Processing. OLAP performs multidimensional analysis of business data and provides the capability for complex calculations, trend analysis, and sophisticated data modeling.

It is quickly becoming the fundamental foundation for Intelligent Solutions including Business Performance Management, Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting, Financial Reporting, Analysis, Simulation Models, Knowledge Discovery, and Data Warehouse Reporting.

OLAP enables end-users to perform ad hoc analysis of data in multiple dimensions, thereby providing the insight and understanding they need for better decision making.

OLAP Cube

OLAP and Business Intelligence Terms

OLAP and Business Intelligence has a wealth of terms. Knowing these terms will make using your OLAP and/or BI software solution easier. It may also make it easier to troubleshoot and talk to IT folks when you need to.

Here is a list of the most commonly used OLAP and Business Intelligence terms.

Download Free OLAP Software

Our sponsor, PARIS Technologies, provided a set of exercises designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of OLAP by using step-by-step procedures to create an OLAP model.

The OLAP tutorials use PARIS’s OLAP product PowerOLAP, but you’ll find that the concepts of Cubes, Dimensions, Slices, multidimensionality, etc., that are demonstrated using PowerOLAP are representative of OLAP in general.

OLAP and Database History

The history of databases starts from the pre-computer era where data was collected in the form of punch cards all the way to what we know now as computer programs that collect data for effective analysis and decision making.

OLAP is not a new concept and has persisted through the decades. As a matter of fact, the origin of OLAP technology can be traced to 1962. Kenneth Iverson introduced the base foundation of OLAP through his book “A Programming Language” (APL), which defined a mathematical language with processing operators and multidimensional variables.

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