Online Transaction Processing and
Online Analytical Processing
The following table summarizes the major differences between OLTP and OLAP system
Online Transaction Processing Online Analytical Processing
Source of Data Operational Data, OLTP’s are the Consolidation Data, OLAP”s data
original source of data comes from many OLTP
Stored Values Stores typically coded data Stores descriptive data
Organization Business Functions Information Topics
Normalization Normalized – more tables De-normalized – less tables
Processing Very Fast Processing Speed – Slower speed than OLTP
Speed only 1 record is processed at a because there are more complex
time. queries that take many hours to
analyze, but can be improved by
creating indexes. – Group of
records is processed at once.
Homogeneity Spread amongst different Centralized in a data warehouse.
databases using different value
Two essential features of OLAP systems:
Data Visualisation involves displaying information in a visual and interactive format.
OLAP systems generate a variety of graphs and charts in real time based on user input.
Drill Downs involves the ability to progressively focus in on more and more detailed
Examples of OLTP and OLAP Systems:
A Hotel Reservation Application would be designed mainly for faster inserts of the
customer related data. It would also be designed in a manner as to get a faster retrieval
of the hotel room availability information. This database is part of an OLTP system.
An example of a OLAP system would be designed mainly for storing less current data
which is able to create ‘what if’ scenarios and solutions. Such as at a bank when
choosing a home loan that is right for you, the customer related data which was inserted
in an OLTP database is looked at, and a query is made to look up the customer’s past
In order to come to a conclusion of which home loan is best suited for the customer. It is
based on information such as:
Does the customer have financial insurance?
How much is the customer earning every year?
Information explaining the standard home loan package.