The main difference between an operational database and a data warehouse is the fact that a database is an organised collection of related data that is stored tables, whereas a data warehouse is a central location that stores consolidated data from multiple databases.
Operational databases often store process-oriented data for use by an application. A data warehouse, on the other hand, focuses on the subject-oriented collection of data for reporting and data analysis, and as such is an important part of Business Intelligence.
Using a well-designed data warehouse offers many benefits including:
These benefits are especially relevant for reporting tools and business intelligence initiatives.