On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP)
is a category of software
technology that enables analysts, managers and executives to gain insight into data
through fast, consistent, interactive access to a wide variety of possible views
of information that has been transformed from raw data to reflect the real dimensionality
of the enterprise as understood by the user.
OLAP functionality is characterized by dynamic multi-dimensional analysis of consolidated
enterprise data supporting end user analytical and navigational activities including:
• calculations and modeling applied across dimensions, through hierarchies and/or
• trend analysis over sequential time periods
• slicing subsets for on-screen viewing
• drill-down to deeper levels of consolidation
• reach-through to underlying detail data
• rotation to new dimensional comparisons in the viewing area"