In-Memory Analysis – When does it make sense?

In-memory analysis is an emerging solution in the Business Intelligence space.  As a result we have had a lot of questions about the appropriate use of this technology and how it fits in with the traditional data warehouse development cycle.

Is it complementary?
Does it compete?
When should you consider it?

In-memory analysis is a specific data warehousing solution that should be used only in appropriate use cases. It will not solve all of your data storage and reporting needs. However, used effectively, it will add significant benefit to BI projects.

As data complexity and volumes grow the appropriate solution for handling them will change.

Where in-memory analysis excels is:

  1. Departmental BI projects – few data sources, low level of data transformations.
  2. Rapid Integration for ISV’s – the ability to quickly integrate reporting on top of an OLTP application.
  3. Short term BI analysis – throw-away analytical projects that need rapid access to data in an agile manner.
  4. Data Source is slow – when the data source being accessed is slow due to the complexity of the schema being reported against.

In-memory Analysis is not appropriate when:

  1. Real time reporting is critical
  2. When merging data from multiple data sources
  3. Terabytes of data are being accessed
  4. If your data store is already fast – or can be made to be

To find out more read this fact sheet on Yellowfin’s In-memory Analysis solution.

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