What Does Pivot Mean?

Broadly, this term refers to a new view of data available within a Slice of a multidimensional OLAP Cube. As an example: a financial analyst might want to view or “pivot” data in various ways, such as displaying all the cities down the page and all the products across a page. This could be for a specified period, version and type of expenditure. Having seen the data in this particular way the analyst might then immediately wish to view it in another way. A cube can effectively be re-oriented so that the data displayed now has periods across the page and type of expenditure down the page. Because this re-orientation involves re-summarizing often very large amounts of data, this new view of the data must be generated efficiently to avoid wasting the analyst’s time, i.e within seconds, rather than the hours a relational database and conventional report-writer might take.