SQL Analysis Service: An Intelligent Tool for Better Strategic Decisions

We need Analysis for any business to perform its best. Enterprises' strategic decisions evolve from its past performances and future goals. The statistics pertaining to past performance is determined comprehensively from reports, key performance indicators (KPIs) and data mining. SQL Analysis Services provide a unified and integrated view of all (past in this case) the business data. SQL Analysis Service pioneered as an online analytical processing and data mining for Business Intelligence applications.

Let us begin from the basics. Between the perceptions that SQL server wasn't ready to handle large databases and that it lacked at viewing the aggregation output, staging a database (immediate data storage) became, almost, mandatory. After many trails, SQL Server 2005 really brought SQL Analysis Service into the spotlight. SQL Analysis Service became accessible via unified environment of SQL Server Management Studio. Microsoft released many services in SQL Server related to Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing; and Integration Services and SQL Analysis Services are two among them.

Let's consider an example to understand the purpose of developing SQL Analysis Service. Suppose, we run a book store with sales record for 50 million book sales and a seasonal book shows a hike in one particular month, say November. This information would come to our advantage while ordering stocks, if at all we knew about it. This is where an SQL Analysis Service helps us summarize such patterns through online analytical processing or OLAP.

To understand SQL Analysis Services further, we will need to know the definition of a cube. Cube is a basic unit of storage and analysis in SQL Analysis Service. It is a collection of data that's been aggregated to allow queries to return data quickly.

As compared to the oldest SQL Server 2000, which lacked at many places, SQL Analysis Service 2005 automated the process of hard-coded data connections to underlying databases. It also automated the process of manually migrating the cube from development to test or production environment. SQL Analysis Service is often billed as Microsoft's data warehousing server. It is a place where the end users will go for reporting needs as it is capable of serving query results possibly hundred times faster than the data entry systems.

When talking about advancement through SQL Analysis Service, we must note that it introduced the data source view, which allows more robust management of how relational data sources would map within the cubed solution. SQL Analysis Services let us design, create, and visualize data mining models that are constructed from other data sources with the help of a wide variety of industry-standard data mining algorithms.

In reality, it is easy to work with the Business Intelligence Development Studio as it offers easy to view structure and content of the cubes, created. The SQL Analysis services offer an intuitive drag-and-drop design for intricate business solutions. It includes the most convenient charting package, enabling business to derive better strategic decisions. We just have to feed SQL Server database with information to be able to make use of its high-end reporting services.

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