OLAP, also known as Online Analytical processing (OLAP), can make business decisions far easier. It may even be the future of your IT efforts.
In order to stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape, it’s important to have a handle on information. Data is power, and those who have plenty of it get to stay on top of the game - as well as on top of things in general.
But a problem quickly arises when there’s too much data floating around for you to analyse. Back then, the process was far simpler with direct accounting and in-house marketing agencies, but as we continually shift to a much more global view on business, it becomes necessary to treat all the attributes that contribute to growth.
These attributes are varied and often come from several different areas of data. Demographics, financing, resources and manpower are all factors that come together in a business operation, as well as dictating the next logical steps the company will take. So how exactly can OLAP help your business make the right decisions?
Enter the OLAP
OLAP is a form of computer processing which can be used as a tool to analyse multidimensional data and extrapolate the most likely connection between several different data sets. In simpler terms, it’s software that allows you to see the link between several different kinds of information all at once.
OLAP tools allow businesses to make more strategic business goals, accurate forecasts and exact reports on what - and how - several different factors can affect the growth of their business. In addition to finding these links faster and more efficiently, the use of OLAP software can allow you to spend less time on data mining and research, instead allocating these resources to brainstorming and production.
From one thing, know ten thousand things
How can this concretely help a business? A good example is when you want a line that connects points A, B, and C. In this case, these may be a company’s sales in September, the leads they generated from an ongoing marketing campaign that started in June, and the total percentage of how much of the business funds is set aside per month on advertising.
OLAP software can analyse, sort, and present this information in a way that answers the question put to it - a process that will most likely take a while with traditional data mining methods. This automation can save your resources precious time and, in the event that you need answers quickly (like how much of a percentage does the company spend/save on ad revenue if combined with a marketing campaign), gives them to you with little fuss.
OLAP tools are great for companies that juggle huge amounts of data, but are also apt for smaller ones that rely a lot on geographical and demographic data to strategically make their business decisions. With the ability to instantly make connections and use them to your advantage to make smarter, better, and faster decisions, they will most definitely play a part in changing the landscape of the industry in the future.
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