As more and more enterprises adopt Hadoop as their next generation data platform, the demands of traditional enterprise workloads, including support for Business Intelligence use cases, are creating challenges. While Hadoop excels at low-cost distributed storage and parallel data processing, interactive support for BI-style queries remains a challenge. Additionally, multi-dimensional queries often demand complex OLAP-style calculations and functions. In this post we will share how AtScale helps to bridge the gap between Business Intelligence users and data that resides in Hadoop.
In many typical business analyses or applications it is important to be able to directly query the first or last value of a particular metric across a hierarchy. For example:
- What was the starting or ending price of a security during a particular day
- What were inventory levels for a SKU at the beginning and end of the month
- What was the first and last payment amount for a loan agreement
Not Always as Easy as it Sounds
Executing such a query using SQL may involve complex queries consisting of unions, sub-queries, and/or temporary tables. In MDX (Multidimensional Expression Language) such a query is easier to support, given MDX’s rich support for analytical queries and hierarchical representation. AtScale has implemented support for First Child and Last Child measures in a way that supports BOTH SQL and MDX clients, which means that virtually any data visualization client can take advantage of this advanced functionality.