OLAP vs CSV: What to Choose to Boost Your Pivot’s Performance

Antonina Krus posted on April 15th, 2015
PLEASE NOTE: As soon as we update the Component with new features every new week the information might be outdated, please check our latest news.

Flexmonster Pivot Table & Charts Component allows you to work with a large volume of data. It was designed to render big data in a fast and robust way. All companies from small businesses up to worldwide enterprises can benefit greatly from using Flexmonster. Our component works with up to 100MB data files and huge OLAP data cubes, that is one of the unique features distinguishing our component from others. There are also several other items that come in handy when managing data efficiently.

The most important criteria for choosing the optimal data source setup for Flexmonster is the amount of data you have – your data volume. If you have some hesitations about which combination of data source and Flexmonster will work the best for you – take a look at useful shortcuts we propose you below:

  • Data loading

If you use CSV, you have to load all data before component starts to display any report. It’s not a problem if you have less than 1Mb of data and good Internet connection. However, if your data source is large or connection is slow it will take some time to load these Mbytes.

Also, you need to know that OLAP allows you to load just part of the data necessary for the specified report. E.g., you have 20 dimensions in your cube. If the report contains only two of them,  the component will only load information about these two dimensions.

  • Browser limitations

You have to remember that Flexmonster is a client-side component, so it stores data in its own storage. This means that component is limited by the amount of available memory. It’s impossible to work with 1Gb of data if the browser doesn’t have enough memory. Therefore, huge CSV files will not work.

  • Performance

Once component loaded CSV data, it allows you to show it immediately because it already has all necessary information for pivoting. OLAP, however, has to load chunks of data every time you want to see a new report.

  • Data redundancy

It’s a big problem of OLAP. XMLA protocol contains a lot of unnecessary data. For some calls, it can be more than 90%. CSV is much more compact.

  • Data compression

For a CSV data source, we have compression features that allow to send compressed binary data. This decreases data size significantly. Our special algorithm optimizes data and allows compressed CSV files to be loaded and analyzed 5-10 times faster comparing to simple CSV file.

So, feel free to use it for your purposes:



And, to summarize, we always recommend our customers:

  • use CSV when data size is less than 1Mb,
  • use compressed CSV when size varies from 1Mb to 100Mb. Compressed using our CSV Compressor it can easily boost your performance.
  • use OLAP cube if the data size is more than 100Mb.


We hope you will enjoy our component as much as we do. We are constantly working on making it better for you. Follow our blog and get the new tips to help you fully estimate our product and achieve all targets.

Feel free to download the newest Flexmonster 2.1 version here.

And, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team, we are always free to answer all questions you have.

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