OLAP users can fall into the abyss of detail data


OLAP cube developers might have noticed that the amount of time required to generate any aggregation (including the NWAY) can negatively impact their productivity. Developers remove the NWAY aggregation (following the sample screens in a prior post) to significantly reduce build time and allow quick modifications to the cube definition.

Previously I explained what is an NWAY anyway. In one sentence, an NWAY is a summarization of the crossjoin between all levels defined for use in the OLAP cube. Removing this NWAY is typically not recommended for consumers of the OLAP cube. You might speed up development, but a user could drop off into the abyss of detail data & experience slow performance. Thankfully for this stick figure, the green box of NWAY is there to save the day.
Dropping into the abyss of Detail Data

So before these non-NWAY OLAP cubes are promoted into production take a moment to consider how the user could be impacted.


About Author

Angela Hall

Senior Technical Architect

Angela offers tips on using the SAS Business Intelligence solutions. She manages a team of SAS Fraud Framework implementers within the SAS Solutions On-Demand organization. Angela also has co-written two books, 'Building BI using SAS, Content Development Examples' & 'The 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes'.

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