Consolidation involves the aggregation of data that can be accumulated and computed in one or more dimensions.
For example, all sales offices are rolled up to the sales department or sales division to anticipate sales trends.
Since the mid-1900s, people have used the word data to mean computer information that is transmitted or stored.
OLAP is typically contrasted to OLTP (online transaction processing), which is generally characterized by much less complex queries, in a larger volume, to process transactions rather than for the purpose of business intelligence or reporting.
Programs are collections of instructions for manipulating data.
Data can exist in a variety of forms — as numbers or text on pieces of paper, as bits and bytes stored in electronic memory, or as facts stored in a person's mind.
By contrast, the drill-down is a technique that allows users to navigate through the details.
For instance, users can view the sales by individual products that make up a region's sales.