Volume 26, Issue 2 (2015), pp. 283–312
This paper presents a novel approach to the adaptation of multidimensional data models to user-specific needs. The multidimensional data models used in contemporary business-intelligence systems are inherently complex. In order to reduce the complexity of these models, we propose using a qualitative multiple-criteria decision modelling method that is based on using a hierarchical tree of the criteria to decompose the larger problem into a group of smaller problems. The final value is derived by aggregating the criteria values using simple “if-then” rules, which form the knowledge-based expert rules in the hierarchical criteria tree that reflect users’ preferences. The multiple-criteria analysis of the multidimensional model structure results in a multidimensional model that exhibits a reduced complexity and is adapted to users’ needs. The model was validated using sales data from a medium-size enterprise. The qualitative (through questionnaires) and the quantitative (through usage mining) evaluation of the proposed methodology both showed that the proposed approach increases the ease-of-use of business intelligence systems and also contributes to a higher user satisfaction.