Virtual cubes are often likened to views in a relational database. A virtual cube merges portions of two existing cubes so that a combination of dimensions and measures can be analyzed through the single, virtual cube. For example, a retailer may have two cubes: one that stores the number of visitors to its website and another that stores purchases. A virtual cube could be used to correlate the data from both cubes to calculate the average sales per website visit.
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Virtual cubes can also be used to prevent unauthorized users from viewing private or sensitive information. For example, if a cube has both sensitive and non-sensitive information, the non-sensitive information can be made available in a virtual cube for those users who need it. The sensitive data, meanwhile, remains in the existing cube where it is accessed by authorized users.