30376 - Business Intelligence

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

After the course, the student is skilled in business intelligence architectures and functionalities. In particular, the student is capable of designing and administrating enterprise data warehouses.

Course contents


A prior knowledge and understanding of database systems, relational model, and SQL language is required to attend with profit this course. These notions are normally achieved by giving an exam of Databases or Information Systems.

Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and all study material will be in Italian.

Course Contents

  1. Business intelligence:
    • the role of BI in the corporate information system;
    • the BI pyramid.
  2. Data Warehousing:
    • architectures;
    • techniques for data analysis;
    • lifecycle:
      • data source analysis;
      • requirement analysis;
      • conceptual design;
      • workload and data volume;
      • logical design;
      • design of ETL procedures;
      • physical design.


  • Slides.
  • M. Golfarelli, Stefano Rizzi. Data Warehouse: teoria e pratica della progettazione. McGraw-Hill, Second Edition, 2006.
Recommended readings:
  • M. Berry, G. Linoff. Data mining techniques for marketing, sales, and customer support. John Wiley & Sons, 1997.
  • B. Devlin. Data warehouse: from architecture to implementation. Addison-Wesley Longman, 1997.
  • W.H. Inmon. Building the data warehouse. John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
  • M. Jarke, M. Lenzerini, Y. Vassiliou, P. Vassiliadis. Fundamentals of data warehouse. Springer, 2000.
  • R. Kimball, L. Reeves, M. Ross, W. Thornthwaite. The data warehouse lifecycle toolkit. John Wiley & Sons, 1998.
  • I. Witten, E. Frank. Data mining. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2000.

Teaching methods

  • Lessons and exercises in the classroom
  • Seminars from enterprise consultants
  • Practice in the laboratory on widespread data warehousing tools

Assessment methods

The exam consists of a 90-minutes written test; no books or notes can be accessed during the test. The test includes a design section, that requires to solve a conceptual and logical data warehouse design exercise, and a theoretical section based on a few open questions on all the course contents. The maximum evaluation score is 30/30. To attend the exam, each student must sign up via web within a deadline. Those who cannot sign up must immediately communicate the problem to the teaching secretariat. Deciding whether to allow them to attend the exam or not is up to the teacher. Once the test results have been published, each student has to write an email to the teacher to explain whether (s)he wants to accept the grade or not.

Teaching tools

Downloadable didactic material.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Rizzi

See the website of Alessandra Lumini