Last decade has shown exponential growth in the data that is getting collected across various domains and sectors. All this data needs processing. Some applications are transaction-heavy, while others need a lot of analysis and computation and need to use OLAP technology.

What is OLAP?

OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing. It is the technology behind several Business Intelligence applications (BI). It performs analysis of business data, carries out complex computations, trend analysis and provides ways to model the data in such a fashion that businesses can use it for planning, budgeting, forecasting etc.

It primarily consists of three types of analytical operations – consolidation (Roll-up), Drill-down and slicing and dicing. Consolidation involves aggregation of data from various sources and/or formats and arranging in one or more dimension. The drill-down process allows the users to deep dive into the data to see the details. In slicing and dicing, a user takes off a portion of a dataset commonly referred as OLAP cube and analyses it further from different viewpoints.


  • Multidimensional OLAP (MOLAP)
  • Relational OLAP (ROLAP)
  • Hybrid OLAP (HOLAP)

Some of the popular server implementations are IBM Cognos, icCubes, Oracle, EssBase.

Most of the times it gets compared with OLTP although their purposes are different. You can find comparison and differences between these two in this article.

Related Links

Related Keywords

Databases, OLTP, NoSQL, BigData, Data Warehouse, SAP HANA

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