Thursday, 1 September 2011


What is OLAP and What are cubes?


The acronym stands for On-Line Analytical Processing. In fact, this term does not correspond very well to the meaning of OLAP tools .OLAP tools allow the user to query, browse, and summarize information in a very efficient, interactive, and dynamic way. OLAP tools represent a vital component of both the business intelligence and data mining technology. They provide an aggregated approach to analyzing large amounts of detailed data.


LAP databases are referred often as "cubes" since they have a multidimensional nature. Each result of querying, browsing, and summarizing can be viewed and stored as a separate cube. A cube is a visual representation of a multidimensional table and has just three dimensions: rows, columns and layers. OLAP cubes are very flexible because they allow the user to move information between these three dimensions. OLAP cubes are easy to create and manipulate. Since they provide insight into various aspects of data, these tools also represent data mining technology. Users can have multiple cubes for their business data: one cube for customers, one for sales, one for production, one for geography, etc


OLAP cubes, like other data mining tools, allow users to reveal trends and structures in data sets. Similar to other data mining tools, OLAP cubes are not application based or scale based. The list of OLAP applications is very extensive. Probably, the most common use of OLAP cubes is in marketing, including database marketing and Web marketing. Other typical applications are retail sales and profitability analysis, quality control analysis, financial and budgeting applications, and management reporting .OLAP technology is a vital part of management and decision making in numerous banks (including the World Bank), airlines (British Airways), media and entertainment (Time Warner), information technology (Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems), insurance (Thomas Cook), auto industry (Subaru), etc.

Group – Marketing 3

Author of the Article – Rohita Sundru(13095)

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