OLAP Planner
Hungarian
 
   
 
“What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” HERBERT SIMON, Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics


Nowadays a huge amount of information collected and processed for our decisions. The need of coping with information overflow has also been recognized by software producers. Compared to its predecessors, for example, Excel 2007 is able to handle much more rows and data.

Internal data flows of a company are basically defined by spreadsheets, but the increasing information needs of users and data-flows poses several problems. On the one hand, these sources can be full of data entry and formula definition errors. On the other hand, growth in the size of stored data and cross-linking causes decrease of system manageability, performance and reliability.
 
The evolution of OLAP systems
Although database systems were made up for more effective data processing and management of two-dimensional tables, these permitted only two-dimensional data reviews. Thus “row-column" schemes were dominant. This gap has been filled by the OLAP (On Line Data Processing) technology. According to the predefined relationships and rules between dimensions and hierarchies, the OLAP system aggregates elementary data. Results are stored in own databases.
The OLAP system aggregates the elementary data between the tables according to the specified relationships.
Data Integration


The structure of OLAP database
A new multidimensional database is built upon the relational database, wherein the cells are aggregated during the OLAP task.
For example, daily sales values could be aggregated by monthly and yearly levels, by customer groups or by geographical areas. If a cell value is retrieved from the OLAP cube, it will be much faster than calculating aggregates on the fly. We have a database where the aggregated data are in a consistent state. The individual dimensions are summarized according to the levels are called dimensional hierarchies; the properties of the dimension’s elements (for example, the product’s unit of measure, size, color, etc.) are called attributes.
Modifying data in a
multi-
dimensional
space
The OLAP based systems have already appeared in the nineties, but due to the increased hardware demand of these business application tools this technology is getting widely used nowadays. OLAP systems are mainly used for data analysis and reporting purposes. Due to OLAP technology developments, nowadays multidimensional data can be manipulated by formulas. Overwriting of a data-cell is also possible, leading to effects of connected parts of the system. Multidimensional formulas permit constructing of business models and reporting systems, which allow for budgeting tasks, from targeting to solve. Besides design of data warehouse, actual data can be analyzed next to planned or forecasted values.
Data modification in OLAP space
The functions of OLAP Planner The OLAP Planner  is plugin software for Microsoft Excel. A new approach can be applied on multidimensional budgeting, reporting and data warehouse management with this application. The SQL Server Analysis Services operates the multidimensional database, the clients are the Microsoft Excel software and its pivot tables tuned by OLAP-Planner. The OLAP Planner plugin specifically extends the functionality of Excel features which are necessary to manipulate OLAP database, as follows:

●    the data can be modified in the multidimensional database;

●    top-down budgeting will be available (top-down planning method);

●    goal-seek calculation for targeting financial objectives;

●    we can use calculated members within the our report;

●    we can edit the dimensional data directly;

●    we can work with different data-versions in parallel;

●    we can apply time shift on data sources: we can make a budgeting version for the actual period from the actual data of previous period and can forecasting easier.

The plugin feature means that the OLAP Planner application starts with Excel and the user interface will only be displayed discreetly you right-click on a pivot-table with OLAP source.
OLAP Planner user interface for Excel's pivot table The OLAP Planner user interface of pivot table
 

Multidimensional budgeting plans allow for simulations, which can provide and predict accurate results in a variety of business scenarios. This is a competitive advantage, not to mention the value of a structured reporting system.