SSAS Interview Questions: Tips for Getting Ahead

SSAS Interview QuestionsPreparing for any interview is no doubt an inestimable task and at times, which makes us feel quite overloaded. Unless you are thorough about how you prepare for SSAS interview questions and what you study, it might be difficult to be comfortable and confident. Therefore, you should study a comprehensive list of possible questions so that you come across as astute and well-prepared in front of your interview board. If you need to get started with database training, check out this Udemy course, SQL Database for Beginners.

Learn More About SSAS

Before discussing any future questions, it is crucial to understand their basic concepts as well as their applications. To start, the Analysis Service is generally used for analytical processing, Online Analytical Processing (OLP) and data mining. SQL Server Analysis Service enables integration and management of data from various data sources to cater for business intelligence applications. These are all an integral part of the SQL server enabling creation and the management of highly complex and multidimensional data structures in addition to the identification of vital data through data mining. There are specific questions  listed in the following paragraphs that will certainly be included in SSAS interviews regarding their core concepts.

Describe the Significance of SSAS

In order to perform analysis and forecast operations, you need to have SSAS in SQL server. The benefits of SSAS are many, it:

  • Is convenient with user-friendly interactive features.
  • Enables creation and management of data warehouses.
  • Offers high end security principles for enhanced efficiency.
  • Provides speedy analysis and troubleshooting options.

How Many Languages does SSAS Use?

Another basic question that will examine your knowledge regarding SSAS will refer to the languages used. Here are the four main languages:

  • SQL- (Structured Query Language).
  • MDX- (Multidimensional Expressions) for analysis.
  • DMX- (Data Mining Extensions) for data mining operations.
  • ASSL- (Analysis Service Scripting Language) for managing analysis service databases.

What Types of Data Sources does SSAS Support?

Data sources are the bridge between SSAS and the database where the data is loaded into the former during processing. A data source will invariably have a provider, database name, server name and impersonation information. Both .Net and OLE DB providers are supported by SSAS. Here is a list of supported sources:

  • SQL Server
  • MS Access
  • Oracle
  • Teradata
  • IBM DB2
  • Any other relational database having appropriate OLB DB provider

What is Your Role as an Analysis Services Information Worker?

This question speaks to your very existence in the organization, and there should be a clear understanding of what is expected from you and how you are going to accomplish company goals. The role of modern day analysis services information worker has its origin from the Domain Expert. In addition, you may be assigned with the management of anything ranging from business analysis, technical training and management of help desk/operation to Network Administration.

Definition of Certain Terms and their Significance

You will more than likely come across many technical terms that are related to SSAS. It is important to know and understand them in order to give you an upper edge in interviews. 

How Do You Define a Partition and How Does it Affect Operations?

The physical location of stored data or a cube is a partition, and it is an effective and highly flexible technique for managing large cubes. It enhances the efficiency and potency of analytical services because partitions with advanced techniques such as aggregation make queries run faster by enabling them to look into only those measure groups that provide answers.

What is the Difference Between OLAP And OLTP?

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) both function in different ways.

  • OLAP is designed for daily business decisions whereas OLTP is used for daily business operations.
  • The frequency of data updates is very high in OLTP with the most recent data getting integrated consistently. However, in OLAP, data update frequency is relatively low.
  •  OLAP uses a large amount of historical, and OLTP only use a very limited amount of historical data.

What are some UDM Benefits?

Unified Dimension Model (UDM) is a method used to gap the bridge between the user and data sources. It ensures a high performance ratio by effectively managing queries involving huge volume of data and complicated processes such as interactive analysis.

Questions Related to the Functional Aspects

How Much Do You Know About Impersonation?

Impersonation is the means used by SSAS in data operations such as processing, data access, etc… in order to identify the client application or ascertain its security. There are four major forms for using impersonation:

  • Using the service account.
  • Using the current user credentials.
  • Using specific user name and password for Windows.
  • By default method of selecting impersonation method appropriate to the type of operations.

How Do You Use Named Calculation and Named Query in SSAS?

Named calculation is essentially a column with an expression added to the table in DSV. It should always conform to the language of the underlying data source. Named query, on the other hand, combines data from one or more tables based upon the underlying data source to form a new table based on a SQL query.

How Do You Combine Multiple Data Sources in SSAS?

To combine multiple data sources, you need to create a DSV from a source that serves as the primary data source throughout operations. Generally, SQL server is found to be the best source for creating an initial DSV. Afterwards, additional data sources can be added into the DSV to act as secondary sources and you can incorporate as many tables as you want into the DSV from these secondary sources.

Intensive and detailed prepartion for SSAS interview questions before your meeting is crucial to making the best impression. You can learn more about SQL server databases by taking these Udemy courses, SQL Server 2008 R2 Database Maintenance Skills and Microsoft SQL Database for Beginners. Also, read more on the topic through this blog, SQL Examples: A Basic Guide to SQL.