Online Analytical Processing
On-line analytical processing (OLAP) describes an approach to decision support, which aims to extract knowledge from a data warehouse, or more specifically, from data marts. Its main idea is providing navigation through data to non-expert users, so that they are able to interactively generate ad hoc queries without the intervention of IT professionals. This name was introduced in contrast to on-line transactional processing (OLTP), so that it reflected the different requirements and characteristics between these classes of uses. The concept falls in the area of business intelligence.
From the beginning of computerized data management, the possibility of using computers in data analysis has been evident for companies. However, early analysis tools needed the involvement of the IT department to help decision makers to query data. They were not interactive at all and demanded specific knowledge in computer science. By the mid-1980s, executive...
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