Friday, February 6, 2009

Experience with Oracle University OLAP Essentials Course

I've recently taught two sessions of the Oracle University Course 'OLAP Database 11g: OLAP Essentials'. The first session was in Reading UK and the next in Munich. Both sessions were highly rated by students (9.4 out of 10). As an instructor I found the course a pleasure to teach (kudos to Brian Pottle and Marty Gubar who put much of this class together).

This is a three day introductory course that is appropriate for anyone who is approaching the OLAP Option for the first time or who is upgrading to 11g from earlier releases (there is so much new in OLAP 11g that even experienced users can learn a lot in this course). The students in the class were a mix of OLAP Option newbies and upgraders. Both groups were equally pleased with the course.

Students remarked that one of the real strengths of the course is the hands-on exercises. By the end of day 1 students have defined, populated and queried their first cube. Later in the course they get hands-on experience with cube-organized materialized views, SQL query of cube, creating calculated measures, forecasting, security and even building a custom application in Application Express on the OLAP cube. One of the things about the hands-on exercises that I found remarkable was the high success rate experienced by the students. These are very well put together.

The outline of the course follows:

Day 1

1. Examining the role of the OLAP Option in the Oracle BI/DW platform.
2. Examining the OLAP Data Model.
3. Building an OLAP Cube (with 2 hands-on exercises).

Day 2

4. Examining Cube-Organized Materialized Views (with hands-on exercise).
5. Creating Calculated Measures (with hands-on exercise).
6. Using SQL to Query OLAP Cubes (with hands-on exercise).
7. Enhancing Analytic Content (with hands-on exercise). (This uses OLAP DML programs to create a forecast.)

Day 3

8. Using Oracle Application Express and Oracle Business Intelligence with OLAP Data (with hands-on exercise).
9. Cube security (with hands-on exercise).
10. Designing cubes for performance and scalability.
11. Performance tuning (this is really about things the DBA should know to tune the Database for cubes).

These three very full days. Expect to get a lot of value from this class. And, it was lots of fun.

Here is one student's perspective of the class:

For more information, see the Oracle University site.

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