Business intelligence, per se, is information collected by a business in order to increase its understanding of itself. A little odd? Why would a business want to understand itself? Well, the business needs to understand itself, so that the business can perform better and can use its resources optimally.
So how does a business go about acquainting itself with itself? It generates a warehouse of information regarding its performance and policies in the past. This helps the business to perform better in the future. Like, in case of a certain market shift, the company can refer to its database and find out how it performed, the last time, a similar shift occurred. This may provide added support for the planning.
Online Analytical Processing basically stores all the information about the company. Then, it analyzes it and when a certain query is fed in to it, it provides as accurate an answer as possible. It can provide pure facts about the past, and can make plausible predictions about the future. OLAP has been of massive help to organizations in times of sudden market inflations. It has also helped many organizations prepare for times of recession to a certain extent. The