Online Analytical Processing
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is business intelligence software that provides the user with answers to complex queries extracted from multidimensional databases, thus delivering various perspectives on data.
For example, employing OLAP, a user could request sales revenue for candy bars in the month of April, pull a report on revenue for the same product in May, and then compare candy bar sales in both of those months to the sales of soda or bubblegum over the same period.
OLAP software achieves this type of complex analysis by searching multidimensional databases that can receive input from a number of relational databases and organize them into groupings that can be understood and compared in many ways.
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