I spent last week at the Teradata Partners User Conference.  This was Teradata’s annual user conference for all of their customers and partners.  There were 3 sessions that covered the Teradata OLAP product and the MDX query language. The first one was a reception on Monday night where T-Mobile spoke about their use of the Teradata OLAP Connector. The second was a session on Wednesday, where 3M talked about their plans to use Teradata OLAP Connector.  The third was a session on Thursday where T-Mobile described in more details their use of Teradata OLAP Connector and Sam Tawfiq from Teradata gave more details about the product.

The 3M presentation was interesting because they are having issues with performance of their Business Objects system on top of Teradata. They have 15,000 Business Objects users and are thinking Teradata OLAP will allow them to improve performance of the system.

The T-Mobile session was most interesting because they have lots of data including an 87 billion record fact table and they have used Teradata OLAP and Teradata Aggregate Join Indexes (AJIs) to significantly improve the performance of their system.  T-Mobile said that the system helped solve their data governance problem (direct access from Excel to Teradata rather than spreadmarts) and doing so had their CFO as a strong supporter. At T-Mobile, they also found that there were a number of SQL Server boxes set up in various departments and using Teradata OLAP allowed them to remove these systems and help with their “shadow IT” issues.

Sam Tawfiq from Teradata also talked a fair bit about the Teradata OLAP Connector and the Teradata OLAP Server. Both solutions support the MDX query language.  Because they support the MDX query language, Teradata is now able to extend BI support within the product to include arcplan, SAP BusinessObjects, and Tableau as well as the original Microsoft Excel Pivot Tables.  Also Teradata OLAP Connector supports OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO) and Teradata OLAP Server supports XML for Analysis (XMLA).  In Sam’s presentation, he also showed how Teradata OLAP can be used both on-premise and in the cloud.  Very powerful.