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Teradata and Microsoft


In MS Office 2007, BI enhancements to Excel have taken business intelligence to commonly used desktop applications.

This is underpinned by Microsofts strategic partnerships to ensure the data platform performs supports the analytical capability of its BI Tools.

Leading those relationships is the agreement between Teradata and Microsoft.

Teradata's strength is in its ability to process large amounts of data and return queries very fast. To deliver this promise, requires the correct data architecture. In previous instances, where Teradata customers hired non-Teradata architects to implement the data warehouse, results were often disappointing, due largely to the database not being designed to fully take advantage of Teradata's strengths.

 

Data Structures for BI

MOLAP

Most BI tools use MOLAP, or multi-dimensional cubes. OLAP is the foundational analytical tool for many BI implementations. The flexibliity of the cube's ability to show aggregations and provide multi-dimensional analysis and fast results, comes at a significant cost.

Physical cubes must be completely refreshed each time new data is added. This typically takes anywhere from an hour to a day, depending on the size of the cube. Hence, cubes do not relate well to real time access to data.

AJI and ROLAP

Instead of using a cube for multi-dimensional analysis, Teradata uses Aggregate Join Indexes [AJI] and relational access to the data [ROLAP].

 

Power of Aggregate Join Indexes [AJI]

AJI's are automatically refreshed during the database load cycle. This supports real time data access with little administrative overhead.

The aggregations and necessary joins performed during the load process do come at a performance cost, but it is outweighed by the time saved by not building physical cubes.

Using this architecture, Teradata's powerful hardware and parallel architecture serves as the OLAP engine.

The use of AJI's eliminates the need to maintain separate physical data marts. Virtual data marts can deployed to different business units by using 'Views' on top of the AJI's.

Microsoft and Teradata collaborated to customize the connection to the Teradata database for SSAS. SSAS generates optimized SQL for Teradata, resulting in faster query results. This improved interoperability will also include SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Sharepoint, and PerformancePoint Server.

This Teradata partnership is significant due to the relatively low cost and wide availability of Microsoft products, lowering the TCO for the BI implementation and increase accessibility to the data warehouse.

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