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An operational database is a database that is used to manage and store data in real time. An operational database is the source for a data warehouse. Elements in an operational database can be added and removed on the fly. These databases can be either SQL or NoSQL-based, where the latter is geared toward real-time operations.
An operational database is a database that stores data inside of an enterprise. They can contain things like payroll records, customer information and employee data. They are critical to data warehousing and business analytics operations.
The key characteristic of operational databases is their orientation toward real-time operations, compared with conventional databases that rely on batch processing. With operational databases, records can be added, removed and modified in real time. Operational database management systems can be based on SQL but a growing number are using NoSQL and nonstructured data.