Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

Online analytical processing, or OLAP, is an approach to answering multi-dimensional analytical (MDA) queries swiftly in computing. It features efficient ways of aggregating and displaying data from a database, typically for business intelligence (BI).[1] OLAP is part of the broader category of business intelligence, which also encompasses relational databases, report writing, and data mining.

The term OLAP was created as a variation of traditional database architectures,[2] which were designed for transaction processing (TP), and not for MDA. In an OLAP database, data can be accessed in many ways without having to reorganize the database tables.

An OLAP system provides a multidimensional view of data as well as aggregations, calculations, and analytics that query the entire dataset very rapidly. The term online refers to the fact that querying is not done offline, as it would be with a relational database.[3]

What is Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)?

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a technology that enables users to extract valuable business intelligence from data in OLTP databases. It is optimized for quickly and efficiently retrieving answers from data, rather than storing and querying it. OLAP tools are classified into six different types, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, with MOLAP tools being the most powerful for the most data analysis.

See Also