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Transactional information

There are hundreds of transactions that go through organizations every day. The result of these transactions is transactional information. Transactional information is all the information contained within a business unit. The primary purpose of transactional information is to support day-to-day operations of the unit. Examples of transactional information include: sales receipt, packing slip, purchase confirmation, etc. So transactional information is the result of performing daily operating tasks.


In contrast to transactional information, analytical information  is used for managerial analysis and decision making. People who are higher up in the hierarchy of the company usually do not need all the details of transactional information. They need the bigger picture. Here is where analytical information is used. An example of analytical information is a report on monthly sales. A manager does not need to see all daily transactions that took place (transactional information), but he definitely needs a monthly sales report to identify trends and to make decisions (analytical information). Transactional information, however, is an integral part of analytical information. If you do not have good records of daily sales, you cannot compile a useful report to identify trends. That’s why efficient handling of transactional information is very important.


Databases that can handle transactions are known as transactional databases. The main purpose of a database is to ensure accuracy and integrity of information. That’s why it is extremely important that when a transaction takes place, it is recorded in a database accurately and consistently. To illustrate this point, let’s look at an example of double-entry accounting system where we use debits and credits. Any transaction involves a debit and a credit so a transactional system will record both debit and credit or a transaction cannot take place. This way, you cannot have a transaction involving a debit or a credit only. So integrity and consistency of information is ensured.


A transaction is usually "issued in a special language, SQL, and the following pattern of execution is used:

  1. Begin the transaction
  2. Execute several data manipulations and queries
  3. If no errors occur then commit the transaction and end it
  4. If errors occur then rollback the transaction and end it" (wikipedia.org)


Transaction processing systems are extremely important to an organization. These systems allow having all the up-to-date information readily available. For example, someone may need to know the current balance of a financial portfolio or current inventory levels. Online transaction processing (OLTP) make obtaining such information quick and easy. On the other hand, OLTP requires very reliable and durable computers. A little glitch in a network may cause a lot of technical and financial distress for a company (pcmag.com).

There is a special type of software known as transactional software which guarantees that all appropriate databases are updated every time a transaction takes place. For example, INETCO “develops software that gives companies revolutionary visibility into the operation of business-critical applications and the intelligence to optimize their performance” (inetco.com). Among the products of the company are Inetco Insight, Inetco Banklink, and Inetco Posway. These application are very valuable in the business world. For example, according to Gap Inc CIO Michael Tasooji, “INETCO Insight captures the end-to-end transaction intelligence retailers need to help optimize real-time application performance, consolidate network infrastructure, and streamline processes related to troubleshooting, while minimizing the risk of service impacts on revenue, customer retention and IT productivity” (inetco.com).