What is Market Basket Analysis?
Market Basket Analysis allows you to determine what items were purchased together. It is especially helpful in the retail and restaurant industries. "When people buy ground beef, what other items do they normally purchase?" "When people order salmon what alcholohic drink do they normal purchase?"
Implmentation in a cube
Implementing a market basket cube is fairly straightforward thanks to a wonderful feature in Analysis Services called a "many to many" relationship. This allows us to model the analysis.
How is this implemented from the user standpoint?
Let us pretend like we have a grocery cube with a "products" dimension. That dimension has all of the products in the store and there are hierarchies which contain category rollups. With a market basket analysis cube, the user would have TWO product dimensions. The "pick from" dimension could be used as a filter or put in the background. The normal product dimension could be put on the rows. The user could then pick any item from the "pick from" filter and see the corresponding products purchased with that item on the rows. An example would be that a buyer wants to know what a good companion sales item would be to a Chardonnay being on sale. They could pick the chardonnay category or a particular chardonnay and see the items that were purchased on the rows. Do a quick sort and you have some potential companion items.