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by Steve BogdonMonday, May 3, 2010

In May, Dashboard Insight shines a light on "BI and OLAP."  If "online analytical processing" sounds complicated - it can be!   While some consider it a set of protocols, others may call it a technique or approach - but basically it's a flexible way for you to make an analysis of multidimensional data.  For the unfamiliar, we've put together a "beginner's guide to OLAP" to help you with the basics.

We plan to use the month to examine the many virtues and benefits OLAP technology can bring to your business.  Our range of topics will include "OLAP reporting vs. analytics" to "refining OLAP architecture practices and tool selection criteria."  And there will be much more!  Join us for a full examination of this intriguing topic.


So Just What Is OLAP?

To those acquainted with the specialized technology related to business analysis and databases, OLAP is a useful organizational structure of data.  But to those who wouldn't know OLAP from a naughty Irish dance, this article will give you the raw basics of a potentially complicated subject.

First off, OLAP stands for "online analytical processing."  Some consider it a set of protocols, while others may call it a technique or approach, but basically it's a flexible way for you to make complicated analyses of multidimensional data - and it provides this information with rapid execution.  Okay, let's back up.

by: Robert Hunter, Dashboard Insight

Business Intelligence And Excel

To varying degrees, all of the leading BI vendors offer standalone add-in and plug-in tools that access and extend the native functionality of Excel. Many times, these additional tools come bundled and coupled to the BI product suite itself. A major factor which has driven market for Excel add-in tools and bundled integration capabilities has been evolution of Microsoft’s Analysis Services—an OLAP framework that is tightly incorporated into their SQL Server database. Also, through the emergence of the OLE DB for OLAP standard, Microsoft has provided a huge catalyst for independent vendor solutions that enhance Excel’s functionality, especially with respect to data operations and OLAP cube analysis.

by: William Laurent, William Laurent, Inc.

Dashboard Insight will be adding "BI and OLAP articles all month. If you would like your article featured here, please contact Steve Bogdon for more information

Please check back often.

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