OLAP vs OLTP (11 Key Differences)

What is OLAP?

Besides various other elements, OLAP is an important element of decision support systems. On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a framework which has no physical database design.

These kinds of systems are implemented in highly denormalized form. OLAP has different kinds of implementations in the shapes of MOLAP, HOLAP, ROLAP, and DOLAP.

The managers and executives use the historical data of this system to analyze the business. The stored data can be up to 10 years or more history, consequently, the size of data is large. Due to large and historical records, summaries are extracted from the data which are used for analysis purpose. The main purpose of extracting summaries is to provide the multi-dimensional view of the data.

What is OLTP?

On-line Transaction Processing (OLTP) revolves around routine processes of the business. This system is mostly used by the database administrators and clerical staff of the organizations.

It involves day-to-day work and possesses current data. OLTP generates detailed reports for a large number of users.

Unlike OLAP, this system does not have a large amount of data as it answers the current queries of the users.


11 key differences between OLAP and OLTP are mentioned in this table.

The data level of OLAP of aggregated. The data level of OLTP is detailed one.
The operations of OLAP are bulk insert and no-delete. OLTP operations are “insert”, “update” and “delete”.
It has multi-dimensional tables. The tables of OLTP are flat.
A large amount of data is received on every transaction performed. Only a small amount of data is received on each transaction.
OLAP has user defined views. OLTP has predefined views.
It has current data as well as historical data pertaining to 10 years or more. The data retention age is 60 to 90 days. It has only current data.
It has low to medium number of users. Usually the numbers of users are large in OLTP.
The availability of data is low to medium. The data is available 24/7 i.e. availability of data is high.
It is used by executive level users and managers. It is used by clerical staff and database administrators.
In this system query optimization is already done. The experience is required in query optimization.
The database size is very high, it can be terabytes to petabytes. The database size ranges from gigabytes to terabytes.
OLAP vs OLTP - 11 differences
OLAP vs OLTP – 11 differences