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.
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.
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