Database vs Data Warehouse

Database vs Data Warehouse

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Business Organisations collect, gather and analyse large volumes of data daily. Organisations must store data in a safe and secure place for which Databases and Data warehouses are essential. You must be familiar with the terms, but Database and Data Warehouse have some significant differences while being equally crucial for businesses. The following blog provides detailed information on Database vs Data Warehouse. Eventually, you will learn which is better- A database or Data Warehouse. 

Key Takeaways 

  • The database allows businesses to store and manage data for core business operations. 
  • Data Warehouse stores all historical and current data from multiple sources for analysis. 
  • Additionally, a Database and Data Warehouse have unique characteristics useful for business organisations for evaluating results for solving business problems. 
  • Applications of a Database and Data Warehouse in different sector evaluates the significance of both for business organisations. 

What is a Database? 


A database is an organised data collection that can be easily accessed, managed, and updated. Accordingly, it is a digital repository that stores data in a structured format to be easily searched, retrieved and analysed. Moreover, a database is typically managed by a database management system (DBMS), which is software that provides tools for creating, managing, and querying the database.

What is Data Warehouse? 

Data Warehouse

An information system that stores historical and commutative data from multiple sources is known as a Data Warehouse. The essence of a Data Warehouse is on analysing, reporting, and integrating transaction data from different sources. Furthermore, a data warehouse helps smoothly conduct an organisation’s analysing and reporting process. Moreover, it is the most helpful organisational decision-making and forecasting system.

Why use a Database? 

The following are the primary reasons for using a Database system:

  • A Database system offers adequate data security and access. 
  • Further, it helps business users access critical data from different sources all in one. 
  • Additionally, it provides consistent information through cross-functional activities. 
  • Maintains balance for using the same data from multiple applications. 
  • Furthermore, Database Management Systems ensure high-level protection preventing access to prohibited data. 
  • Also, it allows you to access concurrent data, ensuring that a single user can access the data simultaneously. 

Why use a Data Warehouse? 

The following are the crucial reasons for using a Data Warehouse:

  • Data Warehouse enables users to access critical data from different sources.
  • Moreover,  provides consistency for information on various cross-functional activities.
  • Additionally, Reduces stress on the production system by integrating multiple sources of data.  
  • Effectively, it Reduces total turnaround time (TAT) for data analysis and reporting. 
  •  Essentially, it helps you save time retrieving data from various sources by providing access to critical data. In contrast, you can access them easily through the cloud.
  • Data warehouses retain historical data and can provide a historical perspective on business trends, patterns, and behaviour.
  • Significantly, it enhances the operational value of business applications and customer relationship management systems
  • Moreover, it improves performance of transactional databases and analytics processing by separating the two.
  • It provides highly accurate reports and maintains the quality of data.

Key Differences between Database vs Data Warehouse

The key difference between Database and Data Warehouse are as follows:  

Database Data Warehouse
It is designed to keep records of data Furthermore, it is designed to analyse data
The processing method of the database makes use of Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) The processing method followed by Data Warehouse makes use of Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
It helps in performing fundamental business operations On the other hand, it allows you to analyse your business effectively
Tables and joins in a Database are complex because they are normalised Denormalization of the Data Warehouse ensures that tables and joins are simple
The orientation of a database focuses on an application-oriented data collection process Data Warehouse a has a subject orientation data collection process
Furthermore, the storage limit of a database is limited to a single application The storage limit of a data warehouse ensures to store data from a different number of applications
Real-time data availability Data needs to be refreshed from the source system whenever required
The usage of a database focuses on ER modelling techniques  Use of a data warehouse focuses on designing considering the data modelling techniques
Effectively, the technique of data collection focuses on capturing data The method of a data warehouse focuses to analyse data  
Moreover, the database has up-to-date data stored Current and historical data is stored in a warehouse which may not be updated.
Significantly, the method of storing data utilises the flat relational approach. Moreover, the method of data storage utilises the dimensional and normalised system for a data structure.
The query type uses simple transactions. In contrast,  query type uses complex transactions for analysis
A database stores the data in detail form Significantly, data stored in a warehouse is a summarised form of data.

Characteristics of Database

The following are the significant characteristics of a database:

  • It offers you high security and removes any redundant data
  • Allows you with multiple data views
  • Moreover, the system follows ACID Compliance (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability)
  • It provides you with insulation of the programs and data
  • Additionally, it also shares data and enables multiuser transaction processing
  • Relational Database supports a multiuser environment 

Characteristics of Data Warehouse 

The following are the significant characteristics of a Data Warehouse: 

  • The orientation of a Data Warehouse focuses on subject-orientation offering information related to the theme of the company’s operations
  • Effectively, warehouse data storage must be stored in a common and unanimously acceptable format.
  • Additionally, a Data Warehouse has an extensive time horizon in comparison to operational systems
  • Moreover, it is non-volatile, ensuring that previous information is not erased while entering new data.

Applications of Database 

The Database Applications in different industries are as follows:

  • Banking: the banking sector makes use of a database for storing customer information, payments, deposits, etc.
  • Airlines: The aviation industry makes use of a database management system to keep a record of the reservations and schedule information
  • Universities: Educational institutions make use of the database for storing student information, colleges, results, etc. 

Applications of a Data Warehouse 

The Data Warehouse applications in different industries are as follows:

  • Healthcare: Using a Data Warehouse allows hospitals and healthcare institutions to strategise and predict outcomes and create reports of patients. Prediction of ailments is possible using advanced machine learning and big data.
  • Insurance: the industry uses Data Warehouse to analyse data patterns and customer trends and track market movements.
  • Retail: Effectively, a Data Warehouse facilitates data analysis to identify customer buying patterns and promotions and determine the pricing policy.

Which is better- A Database or Data Warehouse? 

After careful and detailed analysis of both systems, it is clear that a Database and Data Warehouse have unique characteristics and are crucial in their ways. Moreover, while a database helps organisations to conduct their core business activities, Data Warehouse helps analyse historical records. Each system has its unique usefulness that helps businesses overcome business problems. 


The blog helps understand the importance of a Database and Data Warehouse for business organisations. The database allows fundamental business operations, while a Data Warehouse helps analyse the entire business. Focusing on the business goals and objectives, organisations can choose either of them. Additionally, while both systems have their effectiveness, database and data warehouse applications are found in multiple industries. Moreover, a Database vs Data Warehouse has specific significant differences. However, both are useful for organisations in their ways. 


  • Asmita Kar

    Written by:

    I am a Senior Content Writer working with Pickl.AI. I am a passionate writer, an ardent learner and a dedicated individual. With around 3years of experience in writing, I have developed the knack of using words with a creative flow. Writing motivates me to conduct research and inspires me to intertwine words that are able to lure my audience in reading my work. My biggest motivation in life is my mother who constantly pushes me to do better in life. Apart from writing, Indian Mythology is my area of passion about which I am constantly on the path of learning more.