Using InetSoft's BI Front-end to Create Materialized OLAP Overlays

Materializing an OLAP overlay involves the implementation of a physical data store such as a star schema in place of the OLAP overlay’s logical structure. An OLAP overlay is a low overhead OLAP option, but other data warehouse options may be more suitable under certain conditions such as the following:

  • Data Mismatch: when data is not in a 1-n relationship from dimension to fact, the remedy is to create data that does satisfy these conditions.
  • Increase performance: large databases could produce long running queries. A dedicated Data Mart or Data Warehouse can produce the best performance, by physically implementing the OLAP functions.
  • Snapshot or historic record: a dedicated BI data source can maintain historic snapshots that are detached from the updated transactional database.
There are many options available to transform an OLAP overlay into a dedicated business intelligence data store, including materialized views, star schema/snowflake schema, and multi-dimension databases.
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The Star Schema is an obvious choice because of the conceptual connection. However, a separate physical structure will introduce other challenges that do not exist in an OLAP overlay. For example, changing dimensions and measures requires careful consideration of the trade-offs involved in using different types of update methods. Care must also be taken when choosing from the many detail attributes which ones should be copied into the new schema. The blurred line between the snow flake schema and the star schema can also be challenging. Refer to the following books for more data warehouse design ideas:

Multidimensional databases have similar challenges that typically require a more knowledgeable data warehouse specialist to address.

InetSoft’s patent-pending Data Block architecture allows a materialized OLAP overlay to work seamlessly with the underlying data. After this step, business users can create interactive monitoring dashboards to view and track their desired key metrics.

Read the top 10 reasons for selecting InetSoft as your BI partner.

Continued: ERWIN Importer