• Perceive the unqualified demand for online analytical processing (OLAP) and understand what drives this demand
  • Review the major features and functions of OLAP in detail
  • Grasp the intricacies of dimensional analysis and learn the meanings of hypercubes, drill-down and roll-up, and slice-and-dice
  • Examine the different OLAP models and determine which model is suitable for your environment
  • Consider OLAP implementation by studying the steps and the tools

In the earlier chapters we mentioned online analytical processing (OLAP) in passing. You had a glimpse of OLAP when we discussed the information delivery methods. You have some idea of what OLAP is and how it is used for complex analysis. As the name implies, OLAP has to do with the processing of data as it is manipulated for analysis. The data warehouse provides the best opportunity for analysis and OLAP is the vehicle for carrying out involved analysis. The data warehouse environment is also best for data access when analysis is carried out.

We now have the chance to explore OLAP in sufficient depth. In today's data warehousing environment, with such tremendous progress in analysis tools from various vendors, you cannot have a data warehouse without OLAP. It is unthinkable. Therefore, throughout this chapter, look out for the important topics in OLAP.

First, you have to perceive what OLAP is and why it is absolutely essential. This will help you to better understand the features ...

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