What is OLTP?

OLTP (Online Transactional Processing) is a type of data processing that executes transaction-focused tasks. It involves inserting, deleting, or updating small quantities of database data. It is often used for financial transactions, order entry, retail sales, and CRM.

While these databases have scaled significantly, they still present many limitations. They perform small but numerous transactions that can result in large data sets. However, pulling insights from these data sets requires accumulating, synthesizing, and then analyzing the large volume of data. OLTP was built to collect voluminous data transactions but not necessarily to analyze that data in the aggregate.

Online Transactional Processing and the Data Warehouse

One of the drivers behind the data warehouse was to provide a better way to gain actionable intelligence from large quantities of small, fractured data sets. The data warehouse stores a copy of the data residing in OLTP databases, along with larger sets of Internet and cloud-born data, allowing query access to comprehensive enterprise data from one location, no matter how large or small the set.