SSAS: An Overview of OLAP

The Foundation of Business Intelligence (BI)

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is the mechanism by which vast amounts of data is leveraged for strategic decision-making, allowing organizations desiring to achieve and maintain a competitive lead in their market.
OLAP is chosen for its ability to deliver faster querying capability, from numerous types of data stores, utilizing real-time data, with intuitive, robust tools from a business intelligence (BI) platform.

Microsoft’s BI platform boasts its flagship product SQL Server – the market’s leading relational database, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) – a robust reporting platform, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) – the primary tool used for extract-transform-load (ETL) operations, and SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) the OLAP platform discussed here.

SSAS provides clients the ability to access OLAP data and intuitively engage strategic decisions via Excel, SharePoint, and SSRS.
In addition, due to its optimized engine for OLAP analysis, SSAS alleviates an organization’s central database to concentrate on OLTP for high volume transactions.
An SSAS solution usually comprises a data warehouse and data cube.

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