Multidimensional Data (Cube)


A cube can be thought of as extensions to the two-dimensional array of a spreadsheet.

A cube is also known as:

  • a multidimensional cube
  • or a hypercube

It consists of numeric facts called measures which are categorized by dimensions.

The term cube is used because it describes the multidimensional nature of the data, as opposed to the one-dimensional or two-dimensional nature of relational tables. However, almost all cubes have more than three dimensions.

For example a company might wish to analyze some financial data by product, by time-period, by city, by type of revenue and cost, and by comparing actual data with a budget. These additional methods of analyzing the data are known as dimension. Because there can be more than three dimensions the term hypercube is sometimes used.


Dimensional modeling concepts are applicable wither implementing the model in:

The only differences are in physical implementation. Cubes is a term that is more used in the multidimensional database field.

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