On Line Analytical Processing, OLAP, is one of the most efficient ways of sophisticated data processing and interpretation reporting. OLAP helps analyze data in various ways, including finance budgeting, planning, simulation, data warehouse reporting, and trend analysis. A main component of OLAP is its ability to make multidimensional calculations, allowing a wide and lightning-fast array of possibilities. In addition, the bigger the business, the bigger its business reporting needs. Multidimensional calculations enable a large business to complete in seconds what it otherwise would have waited a handful of minutes to receive.

Benefits of OLAP

One main benefit of OLAP is consistency of calculations. No matter how fast data is processed through OLAP software , servers, the reporting that results is presented in a consistent presentation, so executives always know what to look for where. This is especially helpful when comparing information from previous reports to information contained in new ones and projected future ones. "What if" scenarios are some of the most popular uses of OLAP software and are made eminently more possible by multidimensional processing.

Another benefit of multidimensional data presentation is that it allows a manager to pull down data from an OLAP database in broad or specific terms. In other words, reporting can be as simple as comparing a few lines of data in one column of a spreadsheet as complex as viewing all aspects of a mountain of data. Also, multidimensional presentation can create an understanding of relationships not previously realized. All of this, of course, can be done in the blink of an eye.

Currently, ORACLE OLAP is being used in finance and will soon venture into other areas like alumni and enrollment. For more information contact UIS group at Cletus Rickert at 94431.