Chapter 9. Reporting with Analysis Services

SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services is used to store and aggregate data, specifically to support decision-support systems, ad hoc reporting, and business data analysis. Once designed, cube data is easy to navigate to produce complex, business-relevant results for business leaders and information workers.

This chapter will introduce some of the basic concepts of OLAP and multidimensional storage systems. You will use the Report Designer to create Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) language queries, with and without the MDX Graphical Query Builder. You will learn to build advanced and compelling reports using parameters, pivot tables, and KPI indicators in a table or matrix report.

Finally, you will learn to use cube actions and apply best practices and safety checks to your report solutions that use OLAP data stores.

Why Analysis Services for Reporting?

Every year at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Community Summit, I take a poll of the Reporting Services session attendees and ask who is using Analysis Services or plans to in the near future. Over the past three years, the number of positive respondents has increased significantly, but the overall percentage is still a significant minority — perhaps 25 percent. Do you need to use SQL Server Analysis Services to manage your data for reporting and analytics? This depends on a few factors.

You'll recall that Chapter 7 discussed data storage options for business reporting data and ...

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