OLAP reporting

Olap reporting

OLAP reports that display the evolution of your sales or revenue, per month (or any other KPI) are critical for your company. These critical reports are required by all companies to monitor if everything is "ok".

By themselves, these "monitoring" OLAP reports do not generate any value (they do not help you to improve your marketing campaigns, nor to improve your market performance in general). There only useful for monitoring and are thus a cost to your company. Hopefully this cost can be quite low because most of these OLAP reports (maybe all) can be generated using some simple SQL queries (to prepare to data) and using the pivot table functionalities of MS Excel. A reporting technology based on MSOffice is great because everybody is able to use MSOffice!

Nevertheless, some business-intelligence companies without any qualms are still attempting to sell you expensive reporting solutions arguing that it's very difficult to use MS Excel to automatically produce each week (or month) updated reports about all your activities. …and, in a sense, they are right. Inside all Microsoft products, you must use VBA (Visual Basic for Application) scripts to develop any automation task. VBA scripts are horrible because they usually stop working when you upgrade your MSOffice installation (because there are many incompatibilities between the different versions of VBA script for each different MSOffice revision). It means that, when you upgrade your MSOffice installation, your reporting system (based on VBA) will most certainly stops working. This is not tolerable.

This is why we added inside Anatella a special operator that allows you to automatically update all the charts and graphs of all your MSOffice reports (without using any VBA: We are using a unique proprietary technology!). We are combining the best of both worlds:

  • Simplicity and universality of MSOffice.
  • An automation mechanism that ensures that all your MSOffice reports will keep updating and being produced each week, even if you upgrade MSOffice (Actually you don't even need MSOffice installed on the Anatella server to create the required MSOffice reports: the technique used inside Anatella is totally independent of MSOffice or VBA).
…and the good news is that the OLAP reporting facilities of Anatella are at a bargain price!

Anatella is able to generate ANY AND ALL KINDS of charts available inside the MSOffice suite. You have full control of all the settings of all the charts. For example, you can obtain, in a few mouse clicks, each day, an automatic update of all the charts of your preferred PowerPoint presentation.

At business-insight we strongly believe that most OLAP tools will soon be a technology of the past. OLAP reporting will be limited to the production of some standard reports about some standard KPI's (mainly for "monitoring"). More powerful tools and techniques are now available to analyze your data (such as TIMi). Tools like TIMi will render most OLAP analysis obsolete. Data Analyses performed with TIMi are both easier to perform and more accurate than any OLAP analysis can ever be. …and even more important, data analysis made with any predictive tools (including TIMi) directly generate a large and easily quantifiable ROI.

We also believe that the largest ROI that you can get when you start exploiting your databases originates from predictive analytic tools (such as TIMi) and that OLAP reporting is mainly a cost that you want to reduce to the minimum. Therefore, the main question is: "Why pay for an expensive OLAP tool if OLAP generates nearly no ROI?". The answer is: "I didn't pay for an expensive tool: I used Anatella. Anatella produced all the MSOffice reports that I need in a breeze!".