VI.1.1. Introducing SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)

The core purpose of SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is to present data in a more meaningful way for decision makers. When implemented, SSAS enables users to ask complex questions and quickly receive actionable insight.

Actionable insight is information that can be used to make sound business decisions. Instead of just collecting huge amounts of data, business intelligence (BI) methods and technologies allow you to convert this raw data into actionable intelligence.

BI within SQL Server 2008 is composed of several components:

  • SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS): SSAS provides an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) solution that includes data mining solutions. Specialized algorithms are used to help decision makers identify patterns, trends, and associations in business data.

  • SQL Server Reporting Services: SSRS provides a sophisticated solution to bring the data to the users. With SSRS, users can create, publish, and distribute detailed business reports.

  • SQL Server Integration Services: SSIS is used for extract, transform, and load (ETL) operations. In other words, data can be retrieved from other data sources (extract), modified or manipulated to conform to requirements in the receiving database (transform), and imported into the receiving database (load).

SSAS is only one component of business intelligence, but it's certainly an important component.

SQL Server Analysis Services uses Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) as ...

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