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The Operational Data Provider (ODP) is the link between business data stored in the structure of DataSources and the requirements arising from Operational Analytics and the replication of mass data: The Operational Data Provider defines interfaces for transaction data and master data. Once implemented, these allow access to data for reporting and analysis, and for replication to various consumers. For BW DataSources with direct access, there is a generic implementation of ODP interfaces.

Operational Data Providers are defined in a joint modeling environment for search and analysis. In a search and analysis model, BW DataSources or other data sources are imported as nodes. When an Operational Data Provider is defined on a node, the node has analytic properties added to it which define for example whether a particular field is interpreted as a key figure or a characteristic, whether it will be available as a navigation attribute or which selection properties a field has.

For the purpose of Operational Analytics, an Operational Data Provider can be linked with other semantically related Operational Data Providers using relations that define foreign key relationships. The Analytic Manager can derive an InfoProvider from this kind of model. An InfoProvider of this type is known as a TransientProvider, as instead of being modeled like in BW it is modeled at query design time and created at runtime. Operational Data Providers thus allow reporting and analysis on BW DataSources or other data sources in the business application's operative system, without having to replicate the data to a BW.

In the implementation for DataSources, the Operational Data Provider implicitly supports replication of mass data by using the replication properties of the DataSources.