Blog Business Intelligence Evaluation

SSAS Tabular or Multidimensional approach for creating a business intelligence semantic model

Recently a client asked me whether they should use tabular or multidimensional model for creating the BI (business intelligence) semantic model. I choose the tabular route due to the following reasons.

Reasons to go the Tabular route

  • If you want to use DAX (based on Excel formulas, but is often seen as having a steep learning curve)
  • If you want to use Power View, PowerPivot, and SharePoint Excel Services
  • Need to use multiple data sources
  • Need extreme speed in your data queries
  • Your development timeline is compressed

However, there are scinarios where we use multidimensioanl model.

I have given a detailed comparison of SSAS Tabular vs. multidimensional in the following figure. You can see there are several scinarios where the tabular model does not work (for instance where you need to create more than 1 cube within databases, use language translations, utilize writeback support, ect.).

SSAS Tabular vs. Multidimensional

Here’s another good resource by Senturus you may refer to for the SSAS tabular vs. multidimensional comparison.


Hassan Askari