Differences between Operational Systems and Informational Systems

Differences between Operational Systems and Informational Systems in Tabular Form

Operational vs. Informational System Operational SystemOperational systems maintain records of daily business transactions whereas a Data Warehouse is a special database that serves as the integrated repository of company data, for reporting and decision support purpose

An Operational System (also called OLTP, for OnLine Transaction Processing) is typically optimized for quick inserts and updates, and lookups of single rows or a small collection of rows.

An Information system is an organized system that affects the interplay between people, processes, and technology in an organization.

Information systems are used all over the place. They are used by banks to manage their investments, hospitals to better care for their patients, and B2B companies to automate their marketing. Information systems are designed to improve the way people work, and take what they can do to a new level.

Comparison Chart

Operational Systems Informational Systems
Current Values are the Data Content Data is Archived, Derived, Summarized
Data structure is Optimized for transactions Data structure is Optimized for complex queries.
Access frequency is High Access frequency is Medium to low
Data Access type is Read, update, Delete Data access type is only Read
Usage is Predictable, Repetitive Usage is Ad hoc, Random, Heuristic
Response time is in Sub-seconds Response time is in Several seconds to minutes
A large Number of users A relatively small number of users

Operational Systems

  • Operational systems are tuned for known transactions and workloads, while the workload is not known a priori in a data warehouse.
  • Special data organization, access methods, and implementation methods are needed to support data warehouse queries (typically multidimensional queries)
  • E.g., the average amount spent on phone calls between 9AM-5PM in Pune during the month of December.


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