Common Analytical Applications - OLAP

Here are a few examples of common applications that can use the OLAP option to realize valuable gains in functionality and performance:

  • Planning applications enable organizations to predict outcomes. They generate new data using predictive analytical tools such as models, forecasts, aggregation, allocation, and scenario management. Some examples of this type of application are corporate budgeting and financial analyses, and demand planning systems.
  • Budgeting and financial analysis systems enable organizations to analyze past performance, build revenue and spending plans, manage to attain profit goals, and model the effects of change on the financial plan. Management can determine spending and investment levels that are appropriate for the anticipated revenue and profit levels. Financial analysts can prepare alternative budgets and investment plans contingent on factors such as fluctuations in currency values.
  • Demand planning systems enable organizations to predict market demand based on factors such as sales history, promotional plans, and pricing models. They can model different scenarios that forecast product demand and then determine appropriate manufacturing goals.

As this discussion highlights, the data processing required to answer analytical questions is fundamentally different from the data processing required to answer transactional questions. The users are different, their goals are different, their queries are different, and the type of data that they need is different. A relational data warehouse enhanced with the OLAP option provides the best environment for data analysis.

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