What is the difference between OLAP and OLTP?

The main difference between them is that OLAP is an online data retrieval and analysis process for decision making while OLTP is an online transactional system for handling fundamental business tasks.

OLAP is an online analysis system that allows a user to easily extract and view data from various points of view. In other words, it allows users to view different summaries of multidimensional data. Therefore, users can extract information from large databases and analyze them to make business decisions. On the other hand, OLTP is software that is capable of supporting transaction-oriented applications over the web. Its common use is in financial transactions, retail sales, and customer relationship management (CRM).

Key Areas Covered

1. What is OLAP?
     – Definition, Functionality
2. What is OLTP?
     – Definition, Functionality
3. What is the relationship between them?
     – Association scheme
4. What is the difference between them?
     – Comparison of key differences

What is OLAP?

OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing . It is software that analyzes data for business decisions. Furthermore, it allows users to analyze information in multiple databases simultaneously. Therefore, OLAP enables managers and analysts to obtain effective business insights. Additionally, they can run complex queries to extract multidimensional data. It is also possible to run the same query multiple times to extract and analyze data.

Using OLAP, a company can analyze the sales of a product in two months and compare the results of the same product in the same months sold in another location. In addition, companies can analyze the customer’s most purchased items to create a web page with high purchase rate products.

What is OLTP?

OLTP stands for Online Transactional Processing . It is a system that supports transaction-oriented applications in a 3-tier architecture. Also, it is used to manage the daily transaction of an organization. Also, it logs the current update, insert, delete while transactions are taking place.

Furthermore, OLTP queries are simple, short, and require minimal space and minimal time to process. However, an OLTP transaction failure can cause data integrity. Online airline ticket booking, online banking, adding products to a cart in online shopping are some examples of using OLTP.

Relationship between them

  • The OLTP system becomes the data source for OLAP.

Difference between them


OLAP is an approach to multidimensional analytical queries, used in business intelligence, report writing, and data mining. OLTP is a class of systems that supports or facilitates high transaction-oriented applications. Thus, this explains the fundamental difference between OLAP and OLTP.

full form

Online analytical processing is the full form of OLAP, while online transactional processing is the full form of OLTP.

Main goal

Another difference between them is their main purpose. The main purpose of OLAP is to perform analysis, while the main purpose of OLTP is to perform processing.


Furthermore, OLAP is characterized by a large volume of data, while OLTP is characterized by a large number of short line drives.


Also, OLAP uses select operations, but OLTP uses insert, update, and delete operations.

Response time

Response time also makes a difference between them, as OLTP responds faster than OLAP.


There is also a difference between them in normalization. That is, OLAP tables are not normalized while OLTP tables are normalized.


While OLTP is the data source for OLAP, OLTP uses raw data. This is another big difference between them.

data integrity

Data integrity is another important difference between them. OLAP databases are not changed frequently, so data integrity is not affected. OLTP databases are changed frequently so you must maintain data integrity.

query type

Also, OLAP uses complex queries while OLTP uses simple queries.


OLAP is used for planning and decision making, while OLTP is used to control and execute critical business tasks. This is also a big difference between them.

Type of user

Also, data administrators and analysts use OLAP while database administrators and other database professionals use OLTP.


In short, the main difference between them is that OLAP is an online data retrieval and analysis process for decision making, while OLTP is an online transactional system for handling critical business tasks. Also, the OLTP system becomes the data source for OLAP.

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