The primary components of any OLAP products are cubesdimensions, members and data cell points

cube has a set of dimensions. In the example below, the dimensions are Accounts, Months, Departments, Years and Versions. Data is stored at the data cell (intersection) points of the members within the cubes. 

Each dimension consists of a set of members. The members of a dimension can be consolidated or aggregated along a hierarchy or many hierarchies. This means that members can be aggregated in numerous ways. Each hierarchy has levels and each level is made up of a set of members. The months dimension would typically be January through to December, with aggregations for quarters, half years and year. There could also be aggregations for year-to-date and average year-to-date hierarchies. 

data cell point (multidimensional cell) is an intersection point between members of different dimensions. The number of data points in a cube is calculated by the product of the number of members of each dimension, of the cube.


For additional terms refer to the OLAP glossary.

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