Whereas data warehouses and data marts are the data stores for analysis data, online analytical processing (OLAP) is the technology that enables client applications to efficiently access this data. OLAP provides many benefits to analytical users, for example:
- An intuitive multidimensional data model makes it easy to select, navigate, and explore the data.
- An analytical query language provides power to explore complex business data relationships.
- Precalculation of frequently queried data enables very fast response time to ad hoc queries.
Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Analysis Services is a robust OLAP tool that can be used with data stored in various data warehouse databases, including SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and Oracle databases. For more information, see Analysis Services Features.