OLAP and OLAP Hybrids

OLAP & its Hybrids:

OLAP, an acronym for Online Analytical Processing is an approach that helps organization to take advantages of DATA. Popular OLAP tools are Cognos, Business Objects, Micro Strategy etc. OLAP cubes provide the insight into data and helps the topmost executives of an organization to take decisions in an efficient manner.

Technically, OLAP cube allows one to analyze data across multiple dimensions by providing multidimensional view of aggregated, grouped data. With OLAP reports, the major categories like fiscal periods, sales region, products, employee, promotion related to the product can be ANALYZED very efficiently, effectively and responsively. OLAP applications include sales and customer analysis, budgeting, marketing analysis, production analysis, profitability analysis and forecasting etc.


ROLAP stands for Relational Online Analytical Process that provides multidimensional analysis of data, stored in a Relational database (RDBMS).


MOLAP (Multidimensional OLAP), provides the analysis of data stored in a multi-dimensional data cube.


HOLAP (Hybrid OLAP) a combination of both ROLAP and MOLAP can provide multidimensional analysis simultaneously of data stored in a multidimensional database and in a relational database (RDBMS).


DOLAP (Desktop OLAP or Database OLAP)provide multidimensional analysis locally in the client machine on the data collected from relational or multidimensional database servers.


OLAP Analysis

OLAP Analysis:

Imagine an organization that manufactures and sells goods in several States of USA which employs hundreds of employees in its manufacturing, sales and marketing division etc. In order to manufacture and sell this product in profitable manner, the executives need to analyse (OLAP analysis) the data on the product and think about various possibilities and causes for a particular event like loss in sales, less productivity or increase in sales over a particular period of the year.

During the OLAP analysis, the top executives may seek answers for the following: 

1. Number of products manufactured.

2. Number of products manufactured in a location.

3. Number of products manufactured on time basis within a location.

4. Number of products manufactured in the current year when compared to the previous year.

5. Sales Dollar value for a particular product.

6. Sales Dollar value for a product in a location.

7. Sales Dollar value for a product in a year within a location.

8. Sales Dollar value for a product in a year within a location sold or serviced by an employee.

OLAP tools help executives in finding out the answers, not only to the above mentioned measures, even for the very complex queries by allowing them to slice and dice, drill down from higher level to lower level summarized data, rank, sort, etc.

Example of OLAP Analysis Report:

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In the above example of OLAP analysis, data can be sliced and diced, drilled up and drilled down for various hierarchies like time dimension, location dimension, product dimension, and organization dimension. This would provide the topmost executives to take a  decision about the product performance in a location/time/organization. In OLAP reports, Trend analysis can be also made by comparing the sales value of a particular product over several years or quarters.