When utilising multidimensional OLAP (On-Line Analytic Processing) analysis models in Business Intelligence analysis, it is common that the users need to add new, unanticipated dimensions to the OLAP cube. In a conventional implementation, this would imply frequent re-designs of the cube’s dimensions. We present an alternative method for the addition of new dimensions. Interestingly, the same design method can also be used to import EAV (Entity-Attribute-Value) tables into a cube. EAV tables have earlier been used to represent extremely sparse data in applications such as biomedical databases. Though space-efficient, EAV-representation can be awkward to query.
Our EAV-to-OLAP cube methodology has an advantage of managing many-to-many relationships in a natural manner. Simple theoretical analysis shows that the methodology is efficient in space consumption. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approach in terms of the speed of OLAP cube re-processing when importing EAV-style data, comparing the performance of our cube design method with the performance of the conventional cube design.