Working with Slices
Business analysts must be able to view data—and plan, analyze and report on that data—as quickly as possible. PowerOLAP® provides a means to view and manipulate data stored in a database nearly instantaneously. This viewing/data-modeling feature is referred to as a Slice view (or Slice, for short). Its name is derived from the view it gives of intersecting Dimensions in a Cube. [Many of the terms used are discussed more fully in the Concepts and Benefits section at the beginning of the Introduction to PowerOLAP®.] Within a Slice, you can view all data contained within a Cube; or, more likely in order to customize your view, you can selectively choose any composition or subset of data to view.
A Slice is also used to input Fact Data into a Cube—for example, budgeted sales figures for a particular area, or responsibility for the 12 months ahead. To input data, you simply type numeric or even text values into the grid-cells displayed in the Slice. When you save the database, data is stored in the Cube. It is not necessary to save the Slice itself to save the data entered through a slice view.
Once you display a Slice according to your preferences, you can perform all manner of sophisticated analyses on your data by working in the Slice grid. As you will see in the next topic, Excel Integration, you can also work within a worksheet created via a Slice, for spreadsheet-based analysis, data entry, and reporting.
This section has been designed to quickly familiarize you with how to access a Slice view of a Cube in a PowerOLAP database (The PowerOLAP Database); use a Slice to create different views of data (Using Slices to Navigate Cubes); and, enter data to the Cube from within Slices (Entering Data in a Slice). You can follow each action being described in these sections by accessing an example file provided in the Examples subdirectory, which was installed with your copy of PowerOLAP®. The topic and subtopics under Using Slices to Navigate Cubes takes you through the basic slice commands accessible through menu commands and toolbar buttons.