Palisades Research: Consulting firm specializing in SAS data warehouse solutions, OLAP and internet-enabled

information delivery for decision support, statistical analysis for marketing and financial applications, and data  mining
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Palisades Research develops Internet-enabled On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) solutions, providing our clients with multidimensional views of critical company data for decision support systems (DSS). Our OLAP solutions can be easily integrated into your existing hardware and software environment. "Internet-enabled" means information is delivered from web servers to end users.

We create OLAP solutions using any of the following:

1. SAS MDDB Report Viewer. This series of HTML pages displayed in the browser allows the user to -

Choose a SAS multi-dimensional database (MDDB) cube for analysis
Choose report options (e.g., dimensions, analysis variables and filters)
View interactive OLAP reports based on SAS MDDB cubes

The SAS MDDB Report Viewer provides extensive OLAP capabilities, presenting multiple dimensions simultaneously while allowing users to drill down through dimensions. The SAS MDDB viewer provides drill-down capabilities and clickable 3-D graphs. SAS MDDB cubes are created using the SAS MDDB Server (version 8) or SAS OLAP Server (version 9). SAS provides a simple procedure for creating OLAP cubes and off-the-shelf tools to access them through the Internet or intranet.

Try our hands-on demo of the SAS MDDB Report Viewer.

2. SAS Xplore. SAS Xplore does not require SAS MDDB server or SAS OLAP Server. It displays the results of SAS summary procedures, providing more limited OLAP capabilities than the SAS MDDB viewer. It presents only one dimension at a time and cannot display multiple dimensions on the screen, but facilitates drill-down.

3. Microsoft Pivot Table Service (part of the Office Web Components). PTS is a desktop component that allows Microsoft Analysis Services cubes to be viewed in the browser. Sever-side processing for a web request through PTS is much quicker when accessing a ready-made Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP cube than when accessing a SQL Server table.

Try our hands-on demo of OLAP using Microsoft Pivot Table Services.

4. Microsoft Excel pivot tables. These contain many of the analytical capabilities of MDDB cubes. They can use transactional data, such as SAS datasets or Microsoft SQL Server tables, Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP cubes, or Excel itself.

SAS/Microsoft OLAP Integration.
Excel pivot tables can access SAS OLAP cubes created using the newest release of SAS (9.1) and the new SAS Buisness Intelligence module. Alternatively, a SAS program can create an Excel pivot table by opening Excel and executing the necessary VBA macro statements.

Power to the end-users. Intuitive and powerful viewers enable decision makers at all levels of expertise to analyze business scenarios from all possible perspectives. We use a full range of multidimensional data modeling techniques, including drill-down and drill-across views, providing a decision support system for end-users to perform data warehouse data mining.

Thick and thin (clients). SAS MDDB Report Viewer, SAS Xplore, and Microsoft Pivot Table Service are thin clients. Microsoft Excel is not.

Web access: How much data do you download? The SAS MDDB Viewer and SAS Xplore send the user's request - a specific combination of class variables and measures - to the database, and transaction data is returned to the browser. Processing is server-side, so data transfer is limited to results. The same is true for the Microsoft Pivot Table Services, or Microsoft Excel using remote data, e.g., a remote SAS OLAP cube, a remote SQL Server database, or a remote Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP cube. But an Excel pivot table using data stored in its own worksheets can be a heavy download when created on a server and accessed by clicking a web link, but after the download all analytical processing can take place right on the desktop.

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