Business houses these days use the Information Technology vastly to increase their business and the productivity of their employees. To do this, they require the data which is stored in the database server of their computer system. OLAP is a system which stores the huge data in a structured format, uses the data, processes them and generates various types of reports, which can be seen from different angles and analyzed by the managers, analysts, trainers and executives to take some present and future decisions which help in business development.
The huge data, used by OLAP is retrieved in a multi-dimensional way. A multi-dimensional database is an optimized database used for data warehousing and reporting using Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) tools. The raw data remains stored in a relational database. The OLAP system had different categories; one of them is MOLAP (Multi dimensional OLAP) which accesses the data from multidimensional database, which has the ability to process the data very quickly. A multi-dimensional database uses the concept of data cube, which represents the data dimensions, where one report can be viewed with multiple ways. The database tables create the cube.
The OLAP application is conceptualized with the aim of handling management queries to understand the business trend and critical factors used in the decision making process. OLAP gives quick accessibility to large stock of performance data to be viewed from many angles and it enables the business management and analysts of an enterprise.
The three major types of OLAP are Multi-dimensional OLAP, which we have just discussed, apart from relational OLAP and Hybrid OLAP. MOLAP is widely used for its quickness and the ability of providing the required data and reports in dynamic manner, which is more informative to the decision makers of the organization. The relational OLAP is a system which takes the data directly from the relational database to display they reports or query results. Relational database is a system which stores the data which is organized in formally described tables which provide the data and reassembles it in many ways without reorganizing the tables of the database. A hybrid OLAP uses both the MOLAP and ROLAP system in providing the results.