Differences between Database and Datawarehouse


database datawarehouse

The databases and data warehouse , both are used to store the data, which can be used by computer for processing the information and give desired results to the user.

The major differences between the Databases and Data Warehouses are as follows:-





It is based on Operational Processing.

It is based on Informational Processing.


It mainly stores the Current data which always guaranteed to be up-to-date.

 It usually stores the Historical data whose accuracy is maintained over time.


It is used for day-to-day operations.

It is used for long-term informational requirements and decision support.


The common users are clerk, DBA, database professional.

The common users are knowledge worker (e.g., manager, executive, analyst)

Unit of work

Its work consists of short and simple transaction.

The operations on it consists of complex queries..


The focus is on “Data IN”

The focus is on “Information OUT”


The orientation is on Transaction.

The orientation is on Analysis.

DB design

The designing of database is ER based and application-oriented.

The designing is done using star/snowflake schema and its subject-oriented.


The data is primitive and highly detailed.

The data is summarized and in consolidated form.


The view of the data is flat relational.

The view of the data is multidimensional.


The most frequent type of access type is read/write.

It mostly use the read access for the stored data.


The main operation is index/hash on primary key.

For any operation it needs a lot of scans.

Number of records accessed

A few tens of records.

A bunch of millions of records.

Number of users

In order of thousands.

In the order of hundreds only.

DB size

100 MB to GB.

100 GB to TB.


High performance, high availability

High flexibility, end-user autonomy


To measure the efficiency, transaction throughput is measured.

To measure the efficiency, query throughput and response time is measured.


Based on these differences, we can say that the Database is suitable for the traditional type of data storage technique in which the importance is given to the transactional processing, while the Data Warehouse is a modern form of data storage technique which is used for processing huge amount of data to extract useful information from it.

RELATED Data Warehousing: Tutorial 1 [Introduction to Data Warehousing]


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