Thursday January 21, 8:02 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

OLAP Council Elects New Chairman Erik Thomsen and Outlines Areas of Focus for 1999

Author, Speaker and Principal of Dimensional Systems Brings Over 15 Years Of On-Line Analytical Processing Experience

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 21, 1999-- The OLAP Council, a nonprofit consortium of industry leaders in the On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) market, today announced its new chairman, Erik Thomsen, principal of Dimensional Systems, a consulting group with an emphasis on OLAP-based decision support systems.

Thomsen succeeds Larry Barbetta, previously senior vice president of the Business Intelligence Unit of PLATINUM technology, inc. and president and CEO of Prodea Software, who concluded his one year term as OLAP chairman in mid 1998 to focus exclusively on his newest venture, nQuire Software, Inc. Thomsen's Decision Support System (DSS) experience ranges from theoretical research and academic publications to product design, consulting, public speaking and education.

Under Thomsen's leadership, the Council plans to focus this year on extending the membership to include the full spectrum of OLAP M/OLAP, R/OLAP and H/OLAP vendors as well as other DSS technology vendors. This would include data mining, data visualization, GIS, text analysis, knowledge management and decision analysis.

Another key Council initiative in 1999 is to extend membership to include all interested end-users and solution providers who could help define vertically-specific OLAP benchmarks which incorporate a wide array of application-relevant criteria. This would improve market efficiency for both vendors and end-users. In addition, the Council is planning to work with and attempt to integrate all defacto OLAP and DSS interoperability standards, and to work with all relevant standards bodies.

``OLAP and DSS are rapidly becoming critical components for a successful business,'' said Thomsen. ``Creating vertical industry-specific benchmarks, extending the Council membership and expanding the Council's role beyond only OLAP will be of great benefit to the marketplace in general.''

``Erik's experience and depth of knowledge in the OLAP and decision support market will be a tremendous asset to the Council,'' said Barbetta.

Most recently, Thomsen has written OLAP Solutions: Building Multidimensional Information Systems, a comprehensive book on OLAP which includes hands-on tutorials that show how to design and use OLAP models in a variety of areas including finance, sales and marketing and transportation. Thomsen is a contributing editor to Intelligent Enterprise for which he writes a regular decision-support column. He is also a regular conference speaker.

Additionally, Thomsen is engaged in research projects involving logic-grounded dimensional modeling, OLAP data mining and analytical visualization. During the 1980s, Thomsen conducted research, spoke at conferences and published in the foundations of math and logic and their application to information systems. In 1988, he designed a desktop multidimensional analysis tool called FreeThink, and co-founded Power Thinking Tools (PTT). During his tenure at PTT, he also designed and implemented a variety of OLAP systems. He was CEO of PTT until it was acquired by CCA/Praxis. As a part of Praxis, Thomsen was director of Information Analysis, and responsible for the high level design of Praxis' OLAP offering.

The Council has outlined several initiatives for the new year in addition to expanding membership and developing vertically-specific performance criteria. One area of focus is to promote university participation with the Council to broaden general awareness of OLAP. The Council also plans to investigate an abstract model for OLAP and DSS which could open the doors for educators to teach and practitioners to share OLAP/DSS concepts and problem-solving in a product-neutral way.

In addition, the Council is exploring the creation of an annual conference to present research findings, vertical industry models and how-to sessions which could be held in conjunction with one or more universities and/or computing associations.

The OLAP Council, established in January 1995, was founded to provide education about OLAP technology for business intelligence applications and to help position OLAP within a broader IT architecture. The Council's mission is focused on establishing guidelines for OLAP interoperability and data navigation.

The Council is made up of industry leaders in the OLAP market, and now includes: Applix/TM1 Software of Warren, N.J.; Business Objects, Inc. of Paris, France and Cupertino, Calif.; Cognos of Burlington, Mass. and Ottawa, Ont.; Gentia/Planning Sciences International Ltd. of London; Hyperion Solutions Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif.; IBM Decision Support Solutions of San Jose, Calif.; Management Science Associates, Inc. of Pittsburgh; NCR of San Diego, Calif.; Oracle Corporation of Redwood Shores, Calif.; Pilot Software of Cambridge, Mass.; and PLATINUM technology, Inc. of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.; and Sun Microsystems, Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif.

Criteria for Council membership, in addition to payment of annual dues, includes support for the Council's fundamental tenets of on-line analytical processing. For more information, please visit the OLAP Council Web site at To inquire about membership, please call the OLAP Council at 888-818-OLAP or send email to

     Price Public Relations
     Julia Price/Michelle Beckstrom, 650/829-5800