Top 10 Best Analytical Processing (OLAP) Tools: Business Intelligence

List of some popular Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) Tools:

Business intelligence is growing by leaps and bounds in the current scenario. The predictive analytics market is expected to grow to 10 billion in next 3/4 years.

To meet up the future demands, many software is enhancing their features by implementing complex algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to improve decision making and make forecasts.

OLAP Tools

Before we move on to OLAP tool selection criterion, we must first understand what OLAP is.

Online Analytical Processing

It is a computing approach that answers multi-dimensional analytical queries at a much faster pace and in a smoother manner. OLAP is a unit of business intelligence (BI). It holds the relational database and data mining and reporting features within or in other words, OLAP encompasses RDBMS and data mining & reporting.

OLAP tools give capacity to the user to analyze multidimensional data from multiple perspectives.

All of the OLAP tools are built upon three basic analytical operations

  1. Consolidation: Also called roll-up operation performs data aggregation that can be computed in many dimensions. For example, all the retail offices rolled up to a retail department to forecast retail trends.
  2. Drill down: Drill down is a contrasting technique to consolidation that allows users to navigate through data details in a reverse approach to consolidation. For example, users can view retail patterns of individual products.
  3. Slicing and dicing: Slicing and dicing are a technique in which users take out (slice) a set of data called OLAP cube and then further dice the data cube (slice) from different viewpoints.

Databases configured with OLAP utilize a multi-dimensional data model that allows computing complex analytical and ad-hoc queries swiftly with lesser execution time.

How to choose the best-suited OLAP software?

There are many OLAP software in the market that allows you to perform data slicing and dicing. But there are few key features that constitute an excellent tool like -front end flexibility, ability to leverage parallelism, strong metadata layer, performance, security features etc. Thus it is advisable to keep all these features in mind while making a tool selection.

To help our users here, we have prepared a list of top 10 OLAP tools available in the market.

Let’s discuss each tool and its features in detail now.

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Best OLAP Tools For Your Organization

Here we go!

#1)IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos Logo

 Availability: Proprietary License

IBM Cognos is an integrated, web-based analytical processing system owned by IBM. It contains toolkit to perform analysis, reporting and score carding along with the provision to monitor metrics.

It also contains numerous inbuilt components to meet various information requirements in an organization.

These components are mainly windows based namely IBM Cognos Framework Manager, cube designer, IBM Cognos Transformer, map manager and IBM Cognos connection.

IBM Cognos Report Studio is used to create reports that are shared with knowledge processing departments. It gives the flexibility to create any type of report including charts, lists, maps, and repeat function.

IBM Cognos Analysis Studio is used to search for background information about an action/ event and prepare the analysis of large data sources. Key OLAP features like roll up and drills down are used to get a better understanding of information.

Click IBM Cognos to visit the official company website.

#2) Micro Strategy

MicroStrategy Logo

Availability: Licensed

MicroStrategy is a Washington-based company that provides services on BI and mobile software worldwide. MicroStrategy Analytics enables companies/organizations to analyze large volumes of data and distribute the business specific insight throughout the organization securely.

It delivers reports and dashboards to the users and allows to conduct and share analysis via mobile devices as well.It is a secure and scalable software with very good governance features of enterprise level BI.

MicroStrategy is available in both the forms: on-premises software as well as host-based service in MicroStrategy Cloud. It helps to make better decisions and build a smarter enterprise.

Click Microstrategy to visit the official company website.

#3) Palo OLAP Server

Palo OLAP Server Logo

 Availability: Open source

Palo is an MOLAP- multidimensional online analytical processing server typically used as a BI tool for various purposes like controlling and budgeting etc. Palo is a product of Jedox AG.

It has spreadsheet software as its user interface. Palo allows different users to share a centralized database that acts as a single source of truth.This type of flexibility to handle complex data models enables users to have a deeper insight into statistics.

It works with real time data and data can be consolidated or written back with the help of multidimensional queries.
In order to give faster data access to all the users, Palo stores run-time data in memory.

Palo is available as open source and comes with a proprietary license.

Click Palo to visit the official company website.

#4) Apache Kylin

Apache Kylin Logo

 Availability: Open source

Apache Kylin is a multidimensional open source analytics engine. It is designed to provide SQL interface and MOLAP in synchronous with Hadoop to support large data sets.

It supports rapid query processing in three steps

  • Identify the star schema
  • Build cube from data tables
  • Run query and get results via APIs

Kylin is developed to reduce query processing time for faster processing of billions of data rows.

Click Kylin to visit the official company website.

#5) icCube

icCube Logo

Availability: Licensed

Switzerland-based company icCube owns a business intelligence software of the same name.

It sells an online analytical processing server which is implemented in Java as per J2EE standards. It is an in-memory OLAP server and it is compatible to work with any data source that holds its data in tabular form.

IcCube comes with inbuilt plugins that facilitate file access and HTTP stream etc. It has a unique web interface to carry out activities like cube modeling, MDX (Multidimensional expression) queries, server monitoring and dashboards. It is an excellent as well as quality focused data analysis and visualization tool.

It is an excellent as well as quality focused data analysis and visualization tool.

Click icCube to visit the official company website.

#6) Pentaho BI

Pentaho BI Logo

 Availability: Open source

Pentaho is a powerful open source tool that provides key BI features like OLAP services, data integration, data mining, extraction-transfer-load (ETL), reporting and dashboard capabilities.

Pentaho is built on Java platform that can work with Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.


Pentaho comes in two editions one is Enterprise Edition & another one is Community Edition. Enterprise edition has extra support features and services. It is a very flexible BI tool with good comprehensive capabilities.

Click Pentaho to visit the official company website.

#7) Mondrian

Mondrian Logo

 Availability: Open source

Mondrian is a very interactive tool with outstanding features and strengths like its ability to work with categorical data, large data as well as geographical data. It is a general purpose data visualization tool. It consists of interlinked plots and queries.

Initially, Mondrian had focused on visualization techniques for categorical data mainly. However, over the time, a complete suite of visualizations was added for univariate and multivariate data. Its linkage to R offers great statistical procedures.

Today, Mondrian even supports geographical data with the help of highly interactive maps.Mondrian works with standard ASCII files (comma separated & tab delimited). It can load data from R workspaces.

In collaboration with R, Mondrian offers brilliant statistical functions like multi-dimensional scaling (MDS), density estimation, principal component analysis (PCA) etc.

Click Mondrian to visit the official company website.

#8) OBIEE

OBIEE Logo

Availability: Open source

A unique platform OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) enables its customers to have deeper insights into the data and helps make faster informative decisions. It offers visual analytics via highly interactive dashboards. It is capable of providing metadata search, in time alerts and powerful operational reporting.

Oracle BI 12c is a comprehensive solution with brilliant in-memory computing and well-streamlined system management. It reduces ownership cost and increases revenues for the organization.

Click OBIEE to visit the official company website.

#9) JsHypercube

JsHypercube Logo

 Availability: Open source

JsHypercube is an OLAP database server written in Java programming language. It is a  light-weight database. It is best suited for any application that involves the integration and aggregation of metrics for serving the primary purpose of dynamic charting.

It gives the capability to slice and dice datasets in real time rapidly. The OLAP functions can be performed on data with low-latency. It is an n-dimensional database with powerful aggregation capability.

Click Hypercube to visit the official company website.

#10) Jedox

Jedox Logo

Availability: Licensed

Jedox is a systematic data analysis tool that creates business intelligence solutions. It has a specially designed cell oriented core and a multidimensional analytical processing server.

Jedox is specially designed for reporting, planning and data consolidation. It uses Microsoft Excel and spreadsheet as its UI.Jedox streamlines organizational budgeting and forecasting. It connects to user system’s general ledger, operational systems, and ERP systems.

Jedox supports multi-dimensional query processing and keeps data in its cache for faster processing. It has inbuilt APIs that help it integrate its database in different environments.

Click Jedox to visit the official company website.

I would also like to list some equally good tools here that can be considered for OLAP slicing and dicing

#11) SAP AG

SAP AG is a large software supplier globally as well as well-known producer of enterprise-wide business applications built on a client-server model in the software market. SAP has two major rivals in the market namely Oracle and Baan.

Oracle database uses R/3 component of SAP which made SAP as leading seller of value added Oracle products.

Click SAP to visit the official company website.

#12) DBxtra

DBxtra is an excellent report designing software that users can use to create and distribute interactive reports and dashboards in very less time. DBxtra Users need not have knowledge of SQL queries or web technologies. It has made designing and distribution of ad-hoc reports and easy task.

Click DBxtra to visit the official company website.

#13)HOLOS

Holos was developed by a holistic system is an influential OLAP tool. It is the first tool to provide hybrid OLAP. It has a quite versatile mechanism to handle large data cubes, dimensions, and metadata.

Click Holos to visit the official company website.

#14) Clear Analytics

Clear Analytics is a revolution in self-service analytics. It has impressive features like data access to all, secure data analysis, Power BI etc. that give it an edge. Clear Analytics has a powerful self-service BI that enables everyone in the organization to do power analysis with no manual intervention required.

All the spreadsheets are centralized in clear analytics and the data is fully auditable.

Click Clear Analytics to visit the official company website.

#15) Bizzscore

Bizzscore is a Dutch performance management tool. It is a BI solution that falls in the category of niche and innovative products. Bizzscore aims at developing specific elements of business intelligence. It focusses on performance management primarily.

Bizzscore supports many performance and quality management models like INK-models, the Balanced Scorecard, EFQM etc.

#16) NECTO

NECTO is the main BI product of Panorama software company. It offers data mining, reporting and spontaneous data views without the need of running the report first. Users can create visual presentations and dashboards with the help of Necto. It has unique features like collaborative decision-making and generating one-click reports.

Click Necto to visit the official company website.

#17) Phpmyolap

Phpmyolap is an OLAP application in PHP for performing analytics in MySQL databases. It does not require any Java-based web services to perform operations. It does not depend on MDX language as well. It is quite an independent and self-sufficient software.

#18) Jmagallanes

Jmagallanes is an open source tool. It is an OLAP application for dynamic reporting by the end user. It is written in Java/J2EE programming language. It has the capability to read data from multiple sources like SQL, XML, and Excel and combines data to generate reports, pivot tables and charts.

It generates reports in various output formats such as PDF, XML format or any other application specific files.

Click Jmagallanes to visit the official company website.

#19) HUBSPOT 

HUBSPOT is a unique BI tool of its own kind. It does not monitor financials or client information like other tools, it analyzes organization’s inbound marketing efforts. This is the best-suited tool to determine investment returns for complex marketing aspects like blogging, email marketing, and blogging etc. It is an excellent marketing platform.

Click HUBSPOT to visit the official company website.

Conclusion

To sum up, one should always identify and design predictive analytics strategy first based on the existing systems being used in the organization, be it any of the sectors supply chain management system, marketing organization, CRM, human resources or ERP etc.

Several of the products mentioned above in the list will work perfectly for all lines-of-business users.

Execution speed, ownership cost, user-friendly interface, energy efficiency and interactive reports etc. are some additional key features to help users make a selection of the best-suited tool. We hope this article was helpful!

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=>> Let us know if you want to add any other tool in the list.

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