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9 Examples of an Operational Database

 , August 25, 2017
An operational database is a database instance that creates or updates large amounts of data in real time. This can be based on any number of database technologies that support the availability levels, speed, concurrency, data integrity and recoverability required. The following are illustrative examples of an operational database.


A city continuously collects sensor data from a network of air quality stations distributed throughout the city. The operational database creates the data. Separate analytical databases use the data to generate air quality warnings or to report sustainability metrics.

Machine Data

An energy company continuously records data from solar panel systems distributed throughout its grid. This is integrated with systems in areas such as maintenance and grid operations.


A national weather service continuously collects data from automated weather stations that is used generate timely weather forecasts and as a historical record for researchers.

Internet of Things

A medical device manufacturer provides a service to remotely monitor medical devices in the field and send alerts when a device isn't performing to specifications.


A message app receives and delivers millions of messages per hour.


A blogging service writes millions of blog posts and comments to its database each day.


A sales platform allows salespeople in the field to update sales data such as contacts, leads, opportunities and quotes using a mobile app.

User Interfaces

An ecommerce company records user clicks on their website. This information is then used to generate product recommendations and marketing offers by the operational database in real time. The clicks are also used by a variety of systems as a source of customer analytics data.


A bank records transactions such as transfers, interest payments and withdrawals using an operational database. This data is used by a variety of batch processes that perform functions such as updating accounts.
Overview: Operational Database
DefinitionA database instance that creates or updates large amounts of data in real time.
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