Every day, you get new data. But you can apply it to your experience and make better-informed decisions only after analyzing it. Every organization worldwide has the same story. Organizations gather massive amounts of data and process them to make sense and decide on the suitable sector. 

Two types of data processing systems exist in data science: Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and Online Transaction Processing (OLTP). The key difference is that one makes good use of the data, while the other is merely operational. However, both systems address data problems in practical ways.

If you want to build up your IT skills, find online training on Data Science certification to kickstart your career and showcase your expertise. The question is not which one to select but how to make optimal use of the two processing forms. Let us understand in a little more detail this distinction between the two in this post.

What is OLTP?

OLTP is characterized by many short online transactions (INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE). OLTP systems focus on quick query processing, preserving data integrity in multi-access contexts, and measuring efficiency by no. of transactions per second. Detailed and up-to-date data are available on the OLTP database.

Characteristics of OLTP

  • Manages purchases in real-time
  • Modifies the data in the database
  • Handles transactions regulated by ACID properties
  • Stores the data in relational databases
  • Carries out the process of OLTP transactions very fastly, within the order of milliseconds

Examples of OLTP system

  • The ATM center is an example of OLTP. Suppose a couple has a joint bank account. One day they both arrive at different ATM centers simultaneously. They want to withdraw the total amount that they have in their bank account.
  • During data transactions via the application, OLTP manages the ACID properties.
  • Also used to send a text message, do online banking, book an airline ticket, add a book to your shopping cart.

What is OLAP?

Relatively small volumes of transactions distinguish OLAP (Online Analytical Processing). Queries tend to be very difficult and involve accruement. A response time is a measure of efficiency for OLAP systems. 

Data mining techniques are commonly used in OLAP applications. OLAP database has a compiled historical data preserved in multidimensional schemes (usually star schema). 

Characteristics of OLAP

  • These systems do not alter the data. 
  • They work with historical data.
  • Save data in the multidimensional form in data warehouses.
  • Used for data processing.
  • Never change records.

Examples of OLAP

Any system of Data warehouses is OLAP. The following is the use of OLAP.

  • For example, a bank that saves years of historical check deposits can use an OLAP database to provide business users with reporting.
  • In September, a company could compare its mobile phone sales to October sales, then compare these results to a location that has been stored in an interactive database.
  • Amazon examines its customers’ transactions to create a customized homepage that contains items of potential interest to its customers.


Key differences between OLTP and OLAP

  1. Functions: These mission-critical OLTP systems provide the company’s daily activities and are mainly powered by efficiency and availability. Easy recurrent operations are performed. OLAP systems are essential for management in support of business support decisions using a thorough investigation.
  2. Users: OLTP systems are planned for office employees, and OLAP systems are for decision-makers. Therefore, although hundreds or even thousands of customers in a large company can access an OLTP process, an OLAP system can only be accessed by a specific manager class and can be used only by dozens of users.
  3. Usage: For reading and writing operations, OLTP methods are used while OLAP methods do not update the data.
  4. Analysis of data: The key variation between OLTP and OLAP is the number of data analyzed in one transaction. OLTP deals with many competing customers and requests that only concern one particular information or small set of records at a time. The OLAP system must be efficient to use millions of data to respond to a single query.
  5. Design: The OLTP database operations are structured while the OLAP operations are subject-oriented. 
  6. Access patterns: The OLTP system’s access pattern is mainly based on short, multiple transactions. However, access to OLAP systems is mostly read-only operations because these data warehouses store historical information.
  7. Nature: While SQL queries return a collection of data, OLTP methods are intended to record the user data on the phone or in the shop. OLAP is not designed to handle consumer data in specific cases. Instead, they include queries, which run several data and provide a manager with an overview of aggregate information. 
  8. View: An OLTP system’s primary focus is on current data within a company or agency that does not cover past information or data in different organizations. An OLAP system, by comparison, extends through many versions of a database schema due to an organization’s evolutionary process. 
  9. Data: Typically, OLTP systems only address the current data status. For instance, the Human Resources System can’t have records of an employee left three years ago. The old data could be obtained on certain secure media and could not be reached online. On the other hand, OLAP systems required many years of historical data because trends are also crucial for decision-making.

OLAP vs. OLTP: Which one suits you best?

It is based on your goals to choose the best framework for your situation. Do you need a single business information platform? OLAP will help you extract the value from massive data volumes. Do you have regular transactions to manage? OLTP has been configured to process large transactions per second quickly.

Organizations use OLAP and OLTP systems much of the time. OLAP systems can, in reality, be used to analyze data leading to improved business processes in OLTP systems.

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New data is collected every day, but these data must be organized and analyzed for informed decisions and valuable insights. There are typically two types of data processing capabilities for an organization: OLTP and OLAP. Which one is to be used depends on whether the consumer needs both functions for different purposes.