Operational database

In Data Warehousing, the Operational Database is one which is accessed by an Operational System to carry out regular operations of an organization. Operational Databases usually use an OLTP Database which is optimized for faster transaction processing: Inserting, Deleting, and Updating data. On the other side, Data Warehouses use an OLAP Database (Online Analytical Processing) which is optimized for faster queries. An Operational Database is usually put on a separate machine from the Data Warehouse to increase performance.

Operational Databases / Business

Operational Databases are very important to a business. These databases allow a business to enter, gather, and retrieve specific company information. Operational databases can be known by another name – production database. Known by different names, users can misunderstand what the database is supposed to be used for within a business. For instance, transaction database could mean that the information stored focuses on financial information even though it may not. Operational databases can store different types of information such as training status, personal employee information, and previous proposal information. Storing information in a centralized area can increase retrieval time for users. Operational databases are important when information is needed quickly. An important feature of storing information in an operational database is the ability to share information across the company. Another feature of an operational database is how much information can be stored that pertains to a business. Depending on the type of operational database being used will determine how much information it can hold. For instance, Oracle can store larger amounts of information than Access. Operational databases need continuous management. Since day-to-day information is important to a business, the management of that information becomes just as important. Having someone continually monitor the information being input into the database will make the information retrieved even more valuable because it will be accurate. Users depend on the accuracy of this information. Operational databases have the ability to flag specific information that may need to be retrieved on a continuous basis. Operational databases also have other features that focus on the business environment. For instance, an operational database has the ability to be modified. The overall idea of using an operational database is to expedite the retrieval of large amounts of information with peak efficiency. Furthermore, provide simultaneous read/write requests through pre-defined queries.


  • O’Brien, J., and Marakas, G., (2008). Management Information Systems. Computer Software (pp. 185). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill

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