An Assessment of Multi Dimensional Databases and their Use

Published on 2003-11-27 by John Collins. Please follow me on Twitter for more: 


The information used in industry all around the world has witnessed a tremendous growth in depth, requiring new ways to implement the way database structures work. From flat-file databases to relational and distributed relational technologies, new technologies have always had to evolve to keep pace with the increasing demands of data overload on such database systems. There is a tremendous amount of data generated by day-to-day operations in large organisations, in addition to valuable information obtained from external resources such as market research organisations, consultancy firms and test environments. To meet this increase in demand, the latest step in database evolution is the multi-dimensional database system. This paper will give an overview of the concepts behind the multi-dimensional database structure, some sample applications, and a broader discussion of the advantages for industry of this new technology.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1.1. Overview of a Multi-Dimensional Database System
  2. Comparison of Relational and Multi-Dimensional Database Structures
    2.1. Relational Databases
    2.2. Multi-Dimensional Databases
    2.3. Advantages of Multi-Dimensional Databases over Relational Databases
    2.4. Additional Multi-Dimensional Database Advantages
  3. Where not to use a Multi-Dimensional Database
  4. Features of Multi-Dimensional Database Systems
    4.1. Rotation
    4.2. Ranging
    4.3. Hierarchies, Roll-Up and Drill-Down
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Updated 2020 : note that this post was originally published in 2003, but is left here for archival purposes.