Managers see information as a critical resource and require systems that let them exploit it for competitive advantage. One way to better use organizational information is via online analytical processing and multidimensional databases (MDDBs). OLAP and MDDBs present summarized information from company databases. They use multidimensional structures that let managers slice and dice views of company performance data and drill down into trouble spots. For over a decade, proponents have touted these tools as the ultimate executive information system, but most of the hype comes from product vendors themselves. Based on our experience with several OLAP tools, we have developed a more pragmatic approach to the design of multidimensional information systems that lets managers make the most of their companies' information assets.