Online analytical processing

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An approach to multi-dimensional analytical queries that uses a multidimensional data model to speed up analytical and ad-hoc queries. Commonly used as a key element in Business Intelligence to navigate large volumes of data.

By placing the information within a multidimensional matrix search times can be much quicker than a Relational Data Model would allow.

The Information Architecture of the data is a key to building effective implementations. Each aspect of the data is usually considered to be a seperate dimension, so, for example if the system contains records of court judgements then we can consider selecting a date range, a judge or a verdict as picking a "slice" of the overall data. This approach lets us quickly test different assumptions. For example does the average settlement in civil cases change significantly from one judge to the next?

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