30376 - Business Intelligence

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

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
  • Team exercises using virtual collaborative whiteboards
  • Practice in the laboratory on widespread data warehousing tools

Assessment methods

Exams will be done online, using the Zoom and EOL platforms. An exam will consist 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 two exercises about conceptual and logical data warehouse design, and a theoretical section based on a few open questions on all the course contents. Further details will be given during the lessons and in the "notes" field of AlmaEsami.

The maximum evaluation score is 30/30. To attend the exam, each student must sign up via AlmaEsami 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 one week to decide if (s)he wants to accept the grade or not. In case s(he) decides to refuse the grade, s(he) has to write an email to the teacher.

Teaching tools

Downloadable didactic material.

Teams platform for online teaching.

Miro platform for exercises.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Rizzi

See the website of Alessandra Lumini