Understanding OLAP

So far in this book you have worked with relatively small data sources such as the Northwind sample database that comes with Microsoft Access. In the business world, however, it is common to work with data sources that are much larger — from hundreds of thousands of records to millions, even billions, of records. You cannot place such a huge data source on a worksheet, and even trying to manipulate all that data via a regular external data source is extremely time consuming and resource intensive. Fortunately, such huge data sources often reside on special servers that use a technology called Online Analytical Processing, or OLAP. OLAP enables you to retrieve and summarize immense ...

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