Friday, July 20, 2007

Petrol and OLAP

According to this NYT article (Big Rise Seen in Demand for Energy - New York Times), "It started with a simple question by Samuel W. Bodman, the energy secretary: What does the future hold for supplies of oil and natural gas?".
In order to answer this question, the National Petroleum Council developed an analytic data warehouse using Oracle relational and OLAP technology. Implemented by Vlamis Consulting, the NPC report states:
The data warehouse was designed to be the main analytical tool for the Task Groups, accepting all data collected from the survey questionnaire and other data sources. As the survey data were multi-dimensional, Oracle OLAP database technology was used and the collection was organized using 7 dimensions:
1. Time (year)
2. Geography (country or geographic region)
3. Energy type (e.g., Oil, Gas, Coal, Nuclear, Renewable)
4. Energy sector (e.g., Commercial, Residential)
5. Case type (e.g., Business as usual, Alternative energy policy)
6. Units (applicable unit of measure)
7. Source (e.g., Public, Proprietary)
The statistics contained in the report posed interesting technical challenges, including non-additive data, skip-level hierarchies, non-standard aggregation rules, and more - all of which Oracle OLAP is designed to manage. Discoverer OLAP was used to analyze the data.
You can find more on the Vlamis blog here (Vlamis Software » Blog Archive » Vlamis Used Oracle OLAP For National Petroleum Council Study)

Thanks to Marty Gubar from OLAP Product Management for passing this on.