Most introductions start with an explanation of cubes and MDX and then work their way toward the syntax and structure of a query and then start to cover the various syntax options in increasing difficulty. While that is a great approach, sometimes you just need to get going right away. Fortunately, MDX actually has a few good visual methods of querying an existing cube to access data without necessarily needing to know the syntax and theory (however, that doesn’t hurt!). This post is going to cover a few of the visual methods of querying a multidimensional analysis services cube.
All that being said, it does still help to understand the structure of your data and the various relationships before trying to query it. I’m using the Adventure Works 2014 Data Warehouse and Analysis Services data sets (previously discussed here). The Adventure Works 2014 Data Warehouse contains a number of different fact tables and related dimensions. I primarily use FactInternetSales (and its related dimensions) which is data for the Internet Sales of Adventure Works. The diagram for the relational data warehouse database can be seen below.