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What Is OLAP?

Excel 2003’s On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP) features enable you to quickly sift through large amounts of information to get the answers you need to solve business problems and make well-informed decisions. OLAP (pronounced (OH-lap) techniques are especially suited to help you see long-term trends and discover hidden relationships and causal factors in business performance.

OLAP views the world in two categories, measures and dimensions. Measures represent things that you can count or measure in numeric terms. The number of units sold, sales revenues, gallons of fuel, pounds of cargo, and number of employees are examples of typical measures. Dimensions are nonnumeric things that give relevance to measures. A salesman’s name, date of sale, location of sale, and type of product sold are examples of dimensions that describe a sales revenue measure.


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