OLAP - Online Analytical Processing

OLAP stands for On Line Analytical Processing. OLAP tools offer the possibility to look at the data in a multi-dimensional way. It gives users the power to analyze data from different angles (dimensions) quickly, as aggregates are often precalculated and stored. Interacting with data through the use of OLAP tools is also known as "slice and dice”. An OLAP database is optimized for read operations of high volume data and will typically contain pre-aggregated data for delivering quicker response times to front end Business Intelligence tools.