Essbase Primer: What is Essbase?

Written by Garrett Carey

What is EssbaseWhat is Essbase?  This is a question that I have been asked by clients, prospects, and aspiring Essbase learners over the years.  Here is my first attempt (albeit brief) at explaining Essbase, its power, and the value it provides to business users.

Oracle’s Hyperion Essbase is an OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) server that provides an environment for rapidly developing custom multidimensional analytic and enterprise performance management applications.  Essbase allows users to model, analyze, and interpret complex business problems and scenarios.

An Essbase database is often called a “Cube” and is defined by dimensions. Dimensions are hierarchical representations of descriptors that business users are familiar with, such as a product hierarchy, chart of accounts, department, or period of time.  Business users can be presented with the data values instantly by simply choosing any point in the various dimension hierarchy intersections.  Furthermore, users can drill up or down across hierarchies or pivot different dimensions to form new cross-sectional analyses.

From a technical perspective, Essbase provides:

  • Highly efficient data storage.
  • Very fast data access and retrieval,
  • Multiuser access to analytic information,
  • Ad hoc analysis of multidimensional data,
  • Data organized in a dimensional model, which is easy for business users to understand.
  • Ease of access with no query or programming language knowledge required.
  • A powerful dimensional calculation engine.
  • Easy integration to multiple sources of information.
  • Centralized data storage.

From a business user perspective, Essbase provides the following benefits:

  • Ability to model the business in real time.
  • Multidimensional analysis.
  • A platform that is intuitive, interactive, and informative.
  • Powerful querying and reporting.
  • Reusability of data models.
  • Powerful read / write-back capability.
  • What-if scenario modeling (i.e.: create scenarios to model future outcomes).
  • The functionality to perform complex calculations.
  • Ability to drill up and drill down for additional information.
  • Provides one version of the truth.
  • Easy sharing of data and analysis across functions.
  • Microsoft Office and Oracle Business Intelligence 11g integration.

In summary, Oracle’s Hyperion Essbase provides a best-in-class solution that offers a broad range of capabilities and is easy to use.  In the coming posts, we’ll take a deeper dive into specific Essbase features, industries, and ideal solutions for Essbase applications.  If you want to learn more about Oracle’s Hyperion Essbase immediately, please contact eVerge Group on our website.

About the author: Garrett Carey is a Senior BI/EPM Solution Architect who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

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