Oracle OLAP

You can get more value from the data you are storing in your Oracle database or data warehouse just by applying OLAP to solve business problems. Oracle OLAP, embedded in Oracle Database, extends your reporting environment with sophisticated forecasting, trending and statistical analysis to help you improve overall business performance. By leveraging your Oracle data source for relational and multidimensional analysis, you can:
Exploit OLAP calculation engine using easy to use SQL tools - Oracle Business Intelligence, Business Objects, or Cognos
Dramatically increase performance for complex queries
Reduce costs by eliminating standalone, proprietary multidimensional databases tools
Facilitate single version of the truth by eliminating data fragmentation
Deploy to a large number of concurrent users through a scalable platform
Applications of OLAP in various LOBs include:
Application Types of Analysis Typical Query
Financial Planning Corporate budgeting, forecasting, revenue and cost scenarios, what-if analysis. Develop revenue plans and spending budgets. Estimate earnings per share, cost and revenue projections. Tax forecasting
Accounting Internal and statuary reporting Internal reports such as, balance sheets & income statements
Human Resources Scheduling and distribution optimization What are the forecasted product sales? Where will they ship?
Sales Force Automation Cross-selling and territory analysis Who are the top and bottom sales reps? Who is over/under quota? How does my company's sales compare with my industry?
Marketing Category management and promotion analysis What products are selling the worst/best? Which products are experiencing growth and which are in decline? Do certain demographics show price sensitivity for certain products? What incremental revenue/volume can be attributed to a promotion? Is the promotion cost effective?
Applications of OLAP in various industries include: 
Application Types of Analysis Typical Query
Financial Services Risk Management and assessment Categorization of organization by risk factor?
Retail Site location and demographic analysis What is the correlation between demographic characteristics of current customers and the demographic characteristics of a proposed store location?
Manufacturing Demand planning and forecasting How much product should be produced? When and where should it be sold?
Health Care Cost analysis Cost per health care incident/encounter? Show the cost comparisons between different health care providers by demographic group and geography?
Pharmaceuticals Clinical trial analysis Patient outcomes based on treatment and demographic groups?


Key Features
  • Embedded within Oracle Database to eliminate standalone multidimensional databases
  • Leverage any SQL based tool to access OLAP cubes
  • Integrated tools for accessing relational and multidimensional data - Oracle Business Intelligence, Business Objects, Cognos
  • Multi-OS support
  • Unlimited scalability and performance with Oracle Real Application Clusters
  • Open standards for building OLAP applications
  • Integrated Oracle BI Beans for rapid application development
  • Independent of IT for key business metrics
  • Fast gathering and validation summaries of day to day transactions
  • Single interface in the decision making process
  • Controlled IT costs
  • Single system management
  • No need to deal with data movement
Frequent Asked Questions
Oracle lacks the mindshare in OLAP technology?
Says who? The authors of the only market share report available admit that they have no accurate source to validate revenue numbers. In fact we see an increasing demand for our OLAP solutions. Customers who have been actively using Oracle OLAP include:
  • Camaieu
  • Audax
  • Lanier
  • Bridgepoint
We are already evaluating MS SQL Server Analysis Services.
SQL Server is optimized specifically for data mart implementations and requires the need to build and maintain a separate, specialized analytical server. SQL Server is ONLY able to support a small number of users who need access to small data sets and perform simple queries. Query response times with SQL Server are very unpredictable and can be a real problem for end-users.
Since OLAP is no longer limited to a few specialized data analysts, you must consider the following: What will happen to query performance when your data grows or the number of OLAP users grow? Oracle9i OLAP requires no data movement and was specifically designed to support Enterprise-scale OLAP so you can extend OLAP functionality to users across the entire enterprise while leveraging Oracle RDBMS reliability, scalability, and performance.
Oracle is too expensive.
Sure MSFT has a low entry price, however, you must also consider the following:
MSFT does less. Microsoft has a limited range of analytic functionality (i.e statistical forecasting, procedural calculations.
Microsoft has very poor user scalability and will not scale as your business grows. As a result, Microsoft requires much more server (i.e CPU) power. And, since some processing occurs on the PC, a high-end PC is required for best query response. It simply lacks the basic scalability (RAC, Table Compression), performance (indexes, optimizers), and security features needed for high performance OLAP applications.
Microsoft requires client applications which only understand MDX (which is Microsoft's proprietary multidimensional language), so your DBAs have yet another proprietary language to learn.
How much time can your DBAs afford to spend moving and maintaining data in 2 separate servers? Microsoft "claims" integration, Oracle delivers it!
In the end, with Microsoft what you save on license costs will be paid for in hardware and maintenance costs. With Oracle, you may spend a little more for licensing, but you will spend much less on hardware and maintenance cost. And, you leverage your existing investment in SQL tools, applications, and expertise.
We don't have data warehouse yet.
You don't have to have a data warehouse apply OLAP to your data. Based on your application, you can determine which variables you need to store for OLAP and then build the data warehouse in parallel.
We don't have any OLAP expertise.
Oracle Data Mining is easy to use, especially when leveraging Oracle skills in house. Also, we have Oracle Consultants to help you. Oracle Data Mining simplifies and automate data mining so that end users don't have to be data mining experts.

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