- What is a Cube?
- Using a Cube
- Using Cubes on a Mac
- Getting Access to Cubes
- List of Available Cubes
- Learn more about cubes in UW’s Business Intelligence Portal
- Connect to and use UW Cubes
A cube is a data analysis tool that allows quick and easily manipulation of data. A cube can be used to answer business questions, such as “How much money was spent, by fiscal year, by organization, by budget, by expense object?”
Why is it called a cube and how does a cube answer this question?
- Let’s use the example question above – How much money was spent BY fiscal year, BY organization, BY budget, and BY expense object?. Each of those BY clauses is a dimension.
- Because a cube elicits the notion of 3-dimensionality, the word cube was adopted to represent data organized to facilitate exploration by any number of dimensions.
- A data cube has one other major component, called a fact or a measure. These terms are used interchangeably. The “How much” portion of the question is what is being measured. Cubes can also contain counts, percentages, averages, etc.
- A cube provides a way of storing data that allows users to get answers to ‘how much’ or ‘how many’ questions, sliced by the dimensions of the user’s choice.
Cubes can be accessed using Microsoft Excel PivotTables. You can also open a cube with other software such as Tableau. UW’s central Business Intelligence environment uses Microsoft Analysis Services to build and manage cubes.
The Mac operating system does not support online analytical processing (OLAP) technology. SQL Server Analysis Servers (SSAS) work only in Windows Integrated authentication, which is not supported by the Mac operating system.
You can connect to an EDW cube on your Mac if you are using a remote connection to a PC on the UW Network or if you are running an application that allows you to run Microsoft Windows virtually.
Remote PC Connection
Once you connect to a UW PC, follow the regular directions in the Connect to Cubes page on how to connect to EDW cubes using Microsoft Excel.
Virtual Microsoft Windows
There are a number of products that allow you to install Windows on a separate partition of your Mac hard drive. You can get more information about applications in this Macworld article.
Note: You will need to have Microsoft Excel installed in your virtual Windows environment.
|Cube Database||Cube Server (Production)||Cube Name||Cube Contents and
|FinancialActivity2015*||cubes.uw.edu||Fin Activity Biennium 2015||
|FinancialActivity2013*||cubes.uw.edu||Fin Activity Biennium 2013||
|FinancialActivity2011*||cubes.uw.edu||Fin Activity Biennium 2011||
|FinancialActivity2009*||cubes.uw.edu||Fin Activity Biennium 2009||
|FinancialActivity2007*||cubes.uw.edu||Fin Activity Biennium Minus1||
Table 1. Currently available cubes.
* The Financial Activity cubes reflect transactions from the EDW ODS BudgetActivityDetail dataset.
You can also watch the following videos to learn how to connect to the cube and get started using it.
|1. Prepare Excel to connect to an EDW cube||
|2. Connect Excel to the Research Administration Data Cube||
|3. Explore Research Administration data using Excel pivot tables and the Research Cube||