Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 1-10

Date: Latest Version

Visual Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

  • Marc H. SchollAffiliated withUniversity of Konstanz Email author 
  • , Svetlana MansmannAffiliated withUniversity of Konstanz
  • , Matteo GolfarelliAffiliated withDISI – University of Bologna
  • , Stefano RizziAffiliated withDISI – University of Bologna


Interactive visual exploration of multidimensional​ data; Visual multidimensional​ analysis


An umbrella term encompassing a new generation of online analytical processing (OLAP) end user tools for interactive ad hoc exploration of large multidimensional data volumes. Visual OLAP provides a comprehensive framework of advanced visualization techniques for representing the retrieved data set along with a powerful navigation and interaction scheme for specifying, refining, and manipulating the subset of interest. The concept emerged from the convergence of business intelligence (BI) techniques and the achievements in the areas of information visualization and visual analytics. Traditional OLAP frontends, designed primarily to support routine reporting and analysis, use visualization merely for expressive presentation of the data. In the visual OLAP approach, however, visualization plays the key role as the method of interactive query-driven analysis. Comprehensive analysis i ...

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