OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) tools are used to analyze large volumes of data from different perspectives. They provide easy to use functions for filtering, drilling and visualizing key insights and KPIs. The vendors that sell OLAP tools promise very good response times. These tools are often part of a Business Intelligence Suite.
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What are the advantages of these tools for your company?
It helps your staff and management to analyze important information quickly, and then they can discover trends, see exceptions quickly and look for why things are happening in the market or your company’s business processes. That will give them an ideal tool to improve the business processes of the organization or to develop a new market strategy.
Main features of OLAP tools
✓ Analyzing large volumes of (big) data
✓ High degree of interactivity
✓ Very good response times
✓ Many visualizations on board
✓ Analyzing why things happen
What is the difference between OLAP, ROLAP & MOLAP?
OLAP is an abbreviation for Online Analytical Processing. There are three OLAP-types:
- MOLAP: Multidimensional OLAP – enabling OLAP by providing cubes.
- ROLAP: Relational OLAP – enabling it using a database management system.
- DOLAP: Desktop OLAP – enabling OLAP functionality on the local computer.
What are the most important features of OLAP tools?
OLAP tools are well known for their drill-down and slice-and-dice functionality. They also enable users to analyze data quickly by nesting the information in tabular or graphical formats. And they generally provide good performance because of their highly indexed file structures (cubes) or in-memory technology.
What functions do you need to create valuable insights?
- Data blending: mix data from different structured and unstructured sources.
- Drill-down: drilling down to a lower level in a hierarchy.
- Drill-up: drilling up to a higher level or the highest level in a hierarchy.
- Drill-through: drilling through to detailed data, often to the lowest level.
- Slice-and-dice: the ability to switch between dimensions easily.
- Nesting: placing two or more dimensions in a report in such a way that they are nested.
What are the biggest benefits of these tools?
- Save time: analyze your company data very easily and quickly, even big data.
- Improve financials: with better insights the organization can improve the financial results.
- Happier customers: being able to correct mistakes in business processes better.
- Better decisions: business support with OLAP tools can lead to more reliable decisions.
Which OLAP tools are available in the market?
There are many OLAP tools in the market. Most of them are part of a Business Intelligence Suite. The list of BI tools that have OLAP included gives you a good overview of the different tools. To name a few: IBM Cognos Insight, Qlik, TM/1 and Tableau Software.
“The Business Intelligence Tools Survey with OLAP-evaluation included has been immediately useful to me in selecting the right tool for our company.”
Sweet & Maxwell Group
How do these tools compare to each other?
OLAP tools have many different flavors. Some have excellent features for processing large volumes of data (big data), others do better in visualization, and that is important to know. In our Business Intelligence tools Survey the different OLAP tools are evaluated against 169 key selection criteria that are important for successful Business Intelligence.
If you want assistance in the process of selecting the right OLAP tool for your company, please contact us for an appointment.
About Passionned Group
Passionned Group is a leading expert on OLAP tools. Our BI tools survey helps organizations choose the right tool for the job. Every two years we organize the Dutch BI Award©, the election of the smartest company.