Forget Access Databases – OLAP Is Here

Online analytical processing (OLAP) is a methodology that enables end users to easily access big data in a very rapid manner. They can use this data to perform investigative reasoning and make important deductions. OLAP is a field that requires expertise, such as through the help of people like Abhishek Gattani. OLAP creates multidimensional representations of data, known as “cubes”, and they understand how these can be used to find data in large warehouses. Cubes are used in data warehouses to model it in fact tables and the appropriate dimensions, thereby enabling sophisticate analysis and query capabilities as per the need of the client. OLAP uses its own software, which enables operators to create a real-time analysis of any data that has been stored. This is usually done through a separate server in which specialized indexing tools and algorithms are stored that allow for data mining to be performed, without impacting the performance of the database itself.

What Is OLAP?

More and more often, OLAP is integral to business operations. It makes it possible for organizations to make appropriate decisions and to analyze their performance. For instance, within an information technology organization, it can be difficult to create a system that enables people to make tactical and strategic decisions using corporate information. OLAP systems can work through this, ensuring people to work in a more intuitive manner that is both flexible and quick, enabling them to review various operational issues. Simply put, an OLAP system:

  • Helps decision-makers perform complex analytical tasks.
  • Enables workers to analyze data obtained from different business dimensions.
  • Enables workers to perform complex analyses through atomic-level data sets.

There are generally two types of architecture within an OLAP systems:

  1. Relational OLAP (ROLAP), which gets data from a relational database.
  2. Multidimensional OLAP (MOLAP), which gets data from multiple sources.

ROLAP is seen as a neutral architecture in terms of the level of aggregation within the database. Hence, the system designer determines whether batch processing requirements or query response times are the most important. With MOLAP, by contrast, the database has to have been set up in such a way that batch processing requirements are increased and query performance is acceptable.


  • ROLAP works with dynamic data consolidation, MOLAP works with batch consolidation.
  • ROLAP is scalable and can work with different dimensions and perspectives in data analysis. MOLAP can work to a maximum of 10 dimensions.
  • ROLAP works on atomic level, meaning it can take on a large input volume. MOLAP only works up to five gigabytes, but its performance tends to be better in those situations.

OLAP, clearly, is a highly interactive method required within data-recall and analytical processing within facilities that deal with big data and large data warehouses. It enables operatives to quickly review performance data, searching this from many different dimensions and points of views. The aim is to ensure managers and business analysts can make better and more relevant strategic decisions, thereby improving operations of the enterprise as a whole.

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