Introduction to Business Intelligence

Understand Business Intelligence and be able to implement fundamental concepts.

Introduction to

Business Intelligence


  • Length of course: 4 weeks
  • Credit points: 2
  • Estimated workload: 60h
  • Type of course: self-paced, on demand


Business Intelligence refers to the procedures and processes for the systematic analysis of data in electronic form to enable better operational or strategic decisions. It helps companies to have more comprehensive knowledge of the factors affecting their business. Business intelligence is based on a broad variety of technologies. The ability to understand and master these technologies is a basis to become a data-driven company.

Focus of this Course

This course presents the motivation for Business Intelligence and gives an overview of its architecture. It introduces the various concepts to analyze data via multidimensional analysis (traditional Business Intelligence), visual analysis and statistical analysis (data mining). Multidimensional analysis is further explored in detail via practical online-lab sessions.


  1. Motivation for Business Intelligence
  2. Architecture and Tools
  3. Multidimensional vs Relational Modeling
  4. Introduction to the Star Schema

Learning outcome

  • Understand the role of business intelligence within the corporate IT
  • Understand the basic architecture of Business Intelligence systems
  • Understand the possibilities offered by data analysis and visualisation
  • Be able to design first small multidimensional models

Teaching method

  • Online lecture with exercises
  • Online software lab with eTutorial and small practical exercises


  • Oral exam via videoconference
  • Lab prototype

Recommended reading

  • Adamson (2010): Star Schema. McGraw-Hill.
  • Corr, Stagnito (2011): Agile Data Warehouse Design. Decision One Press.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt

is professor at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences for business computing, focusing on management information systems, business analytics, enterprise architecture and information logistics. He has 30 years of experience in IT and logistics and advised a large number of companies on strategy and implementation projects. He is an ACM member, member of the “Bundesvereinigung Logistik” and of the German-African Business Association.

Prior to his appointment as a professor, he started his career as a research associate at Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, and later as Senior Management Consultant at CSC Ploenzke, responsible for the area of logistics. During this time, he did his PhD at the University of Bamberg.

Thomas Schmidt has 15 years of experience in Africa with projects in university partnerships with technology transfer in logistics and information technology. As Director of the Centre for Business and Technology in Africa, he founded the Namibian-German Centre for Logistics and operates partnerships in Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia and Ghana with successful cooperative Bachelor and Master programs. In addition to his African expertise, he taught and researched as a guest professor in the USA, Sweden, Finland, France and China.