University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Business Intelligence

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Computer Information Systems

DESCRIPTION This unit will define the notion of Business Intelligence and its various components. Business Intelligence (BI) involves the gathering of vast amounts of data in order to obtain insights that drive strategic and tactical business decisions. The area is concerned with Information Technology solutions for transforming the output from large data collections into Intelligence and is used to provide a historical, current and predictive view of an organisation, its operations and its customers. It encompasses a broad category of technologies that allow business users to gather, store, access and analyse data to improve the business decision making capabilities.

Business Intelligence consists of three integrated components:

I. Data Warehousing;
II. Data mining;
III. Analytical Reporting (sometimes called analytics).

This unit has strong focus on applied knowledge with strong emphasis on practical application.

Study-unit Aims:

i. To expose students to the main definitions in Business Intelligence (BI);
ii. For students to understand what BI is and why it is required;
iii. To explain to students how BI techniques and technologies can be used to generate the information required to drive business decisions - both tactical and strategic;
iv. To use studies to illustrate the above;
v. To explain how data mining techniques and technologies can be used to find correlations in data.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

i. Understand the principles of business intelligence, data warehousing principles, reporting and visualisation techniques, and data mining techniques;
ii. Demonstrate an understanding of the role and importance of business intelligence in organisations through the critical analysis of specific case studies;
iii. Explain the issues associated with the application of BI technologies through the critical analysis of specific case studies;
iv. Demonstrate competence in applying BI concepts and techniques through implementation based on various existing technologies;
v. Propose and justify the use of BI to address business issues through the critical analysis of specific case studies.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

i. Implement the key elements of a successful business intelligence (BI) programme;
ii. Extract and transform data from an operational database to a data warehouse;
iii. Exploit available business tools and to apply them to particular case studies;
iv. Integrate BI into daily business decisions and apply BI to solve practical problems.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main textbook:

Business Intelligence: Data Mining and Optimization for Decision Making, Carlo Vercelis, Wiley
ISBN-10: 0470511397
ISBN-13: 978-0470511398.

Supplementary reading:

Key Performance Indicators (KPI): Developing, Implementing, and Using Winning KPIs David Parmenter, Wiley
ISBN-10: 0470545151
ISBN-13: 978-0470545157.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Project Yes 30%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 70%

LECTURER/S John M. Abela
Joseph Bonello

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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