Most of us have been charmed by circus jugglers who toss balls or bowling pins up in the air and keep them there. How do they do that, anyway? Juggling takes great concentration and good hand-eye coordination. Keeping objects in the air continuously requires planning and flawless execution. It seems to me that creating multiple OLAP cubes requires many of the same qualities as the act of juggling. Organizations in the forefront of achieving competitive advantage have already realized the benefits of generating on-line analytical processing (OLAP) databases, in the form of data marts, that address specific functional needs for multidimensional access to information. More and more OLAP cubes are being generated as we realize their capabilities to enhance corporate decision making. As we collectively address the need for multiple cubes, the issue of juggling those cubes draws attention.

Many cubes are required to satisfy different business constituencies and separate business problems. Some cubes invariably have similar dimensions to other cubes. Yet today we have to generate each cube and its set of dimensions separately. Unique generation means we have separate data transformation rules, along with separate extracts for each data mart required. Enter a new technology that incorporates the creation and population of multiple OLAP data cubes simultaneously. Juggling multiple OLAP cubes--creating and maintaining separate structures--requires planning and flawless execution.

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