The Multidimensional Database

The Essbase multidimensional database stores and organizes data. It is optimized to handle applications that contain large amounts of numeric data and that are consolidation-intensive or computation-intensive. In addition, the database organizes data in a way that reflects how the user wants to view the data.

Definition of Multidimensional

A dimension is a perspective or view of a specific dataset. A different view of the same data is an alternate dimension. A system that supports simultaneous, alternate views of datasets is multidimensional. Dimensions are typically categories such as time, accounts, product lines, markets, budgets, and so on. Each dimension contains additional categories that have various relationships one to another.

An Essbase application contains an unlimited number of dimensions, so you can analyze large amounts of data from multiple viewpoints. Figure 1, Multiple Views from a Five-Dimensional Database shows four views of multidimensional data. You can retrieve and analyze multidimensional data with the Spreadsheet Add-in software.

Figure 1. Multiple Views from a Five-Dimensional Database

In contrast to the multidimensional view, worksheets store data in two dimensions, usually time and accounts (see Figure 2, Two-Dimensional Representations of Data in a Worksheet):

Figure 2. Two-Dimensional Representations of Data in a Worksheet