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Ninety percent of all data exist has been created in the last two years. It’s evident that the volume, velocity, and variety of data has evolved significantly over this short period of time. Extraordinary amounts of diverse data are being created at unprecedented speeds. Ten years ago, data was collected and managed in a fairly structured way. Today, the data we know and rely on is far from predictable. Thanks to the advancement of technology and innovation, now there’s a way to effectively analyze big data using databases and cloud data warehouses. Despite similarities between databases and cloud data warehouses, they are different solutions. This post will explain the difference between a database and a data warehouse.



At its core, a database is a container for information, often transactional information, to be stored electronically. Organizations often have many databases that each store information from a single operational system, say online sales.

The information in a database is typically organized using a relational system, where data is stored in columns, rows, and tables. Here, data is constantly being added, updated, deleted, and modified directly in the database technical catalog.

Typically, databases don’t have graphical user interface to display the information. To access and analyze information in a database, the user would need a solid understanding of a query language like SQL to navigate through the data. All in all, to fully unleash the power of the information contained in a database for analytics you need a highly trained database administrator who can query all day long or to connect your database to a self-service analytics solution.


Get your free SAP Data Warehouse Cloud Trial today.


Cloud Data Warehouses

Like databases, cloud data warehouses deal with data; the difference is that instead of transactional processing the end-goal with any data warehouse is end-to-end analytics. Cloud data warehouses consolidate data from multiple sources making it accessible for analysis. Whether the data comes externally from a marketing initiative like Facebook ads or internally from a customer database, the information is all consolidated into the single cloud data warehouse, enabling fast querying across all data sources.

What really differentiates a cloud data warehouse from a database is its “translation capabilities”, these make it possible for any user to navigate through the data. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud’s semantic layer translates raw data into business language to allow business users to fully comprehend the various sets of tables and views.

Whether you’re a data scientist or business analyst, the best cloud data warehouse gives all users the power of analytics. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud transforms data into knowledge, allowing you to confidently make decisions to level-up your business.

Get Started with SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

There you have it – the basic differences between databases and cloud data warehouses. Are you ready to dive right into a cloud data warehouse? Sign up for the free trial to be one of the first to try SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, the only end-to-end data management and decision-making cloud solution designed for business and enterprise-grade experiences. We’re combining powerful data management capabilities with the broadest advanced analytics, helping you to make confident decisions – all in one, all in the cloud. ​