Data Warehousing

A data warehouse is a relational database that is designed for query and analysis rather than for transaction processing. It usually contains historical data derived from transaction data, but it can include data from other sources. It separates analysis workload from transaction workload and enables an organization to consolidate data from several sources.

In addition to a relational database, a data warehouse environment includes an extraction, transportation, transformation, and loading (ETL) solution, an online analytical processing (OLAP) engine, client analysis tools, and other applications that manage the process of gathering data and delivering it to business users.

Subject Oriented

Data warehouses are designed to help you analyze data. For example, to learn more about your company's sales data, you can build a warehouse that concentrates on sales. Using this warehouse, you can answer questions like "Who was our best customer for this item last year?" This ability to define a data warehouse by subject matter, sales in this case, makes the data warehouse subject oriented.


Integration is closely related to subject orientation. Data warehouses must put data from disparate sources into a consistent format. They must resolve such problems as naming conflicts and inconsistencies among units of measure. When they achieve this, they are said to be integrated.


Nonvolatile means that, once entered into the warehouse, data should not change. This is logical because the purpose of a warehouse is to enable you to analyze what has occurred.

Time Variant

In order to discover trends in business, analysts need large amounts of data. This is very much in contrast to online transaction processing (OLTP) systems, where performance requirements demand that historical data be moved to an archive. A data warehouse's focus on change over time is what is meant by the term time variant.


One major difference between the types of system is that data warehouses are not usually in third normal form , a type of data normalization common in OLTP environments. its designed to accommodate ad hoc queries. You might not know the workload of your data warehouse in advance, so a data warehouse should be optimized to perform well for a wide variety of possible query operations.

Data modifications

A data warehouse is updated on a regular basis by the ETL process (run nightly or weekly) using bulk data modification techniques. The end users of a data warehouse do not directly update the data warehouse. In OLTP systems, end users routinely issue individual data modification statements to the database. The OLTP database is always up to date, and reflects the current state of each business transaction.