Cubes, dimensions, and measures are the fundamental parts of any OLAP solution. Let's consider the array of spreadsheets from Chapter 1, shown here again in Figure 2-1. At the most basic, the whole collection is a cube. In this chapter, you'll look at how this model relates to the concepts you need to grasp in order to understand OLAP and Analysis Services.
Figure 2.1. A cube
A cube is a collection of numeric data organized by arrays of discrete identifiers. Cubes were created to give a logical structure to the pivot table approach to analyzing large amounts of numerical data.