What’s the difference between a Database and a Data Warehouse?


In this short video, I explain the distinction.

At one of our workshops, we had an attendee ask, “What’s the difference between a Database and a Data Warehouse?” Over and over I have been asking myself, what should be the topic of my next video? But I often forget that I haven’t really addressed some of the more foundational questions. So let's get into that question here.

A database is a structured place to store data. There are many kinds of databases, and they are often designed and optimized for various functions. However, one thing that most databases have in common is that they have a schema. A schema is a defined set of tables and columns which all the rows of data get loaded into.

People design schemas to fit the database’s proposed function. If you’re designing an application then you will design the schema to help drive the application screens and record each event. This type of database is called an OLTP database. However, if you’re designing a data warehouse the schema is going to be built for a different purpose.

Rather than soaking in records you want the database to cough up records in bulk. To effectively get the database to do this, the organization of the tables and columns needs to be structured so the measures and attributes to be analyzed are closely connected. This greatly optimizes the speed at which the database can execute a query. A database that is designed for analytical purposes like this is called a Data Warehouse.

So what’s the difference between a Database and a Data Warehouse? Well a Data Warehouse is a database, but it’s designed for centralizing the data for optimized analysis. What can often get confusing is that various vendors might either cater to transaction processing or to data warehousing, or even do both. Not every vendor is exactly up front about their capacity to do one or the other, so it's important to really investigate this so you’re using the right database for the right function.

Intricity conducts strategies to help companies with the decision on what solutions to deploy to support their business. I have a whitepaper that you’ll find in the video description that outlines this strategy. Alternatively, you can reach out to Intricity to talk with a specialist about your specific requirements.

Here's the link mentioned: https://lnkd.in/euwEGGS

Talk with an Intricity Specialist: https://lnkd.in/ecr5VXw