IMS5026 Data warehousing - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Dr. Rob Meredith


Caulfield : Dr. Rob Meredith


Systems analysts are increasingly required to provide managers with information that is not readily available from operational information systems. The data warehouse is designed to provide managers with high quality data from a number of sources both inside and outside the organisation and is an example of a large-scale decision system. The data warehouse must be suitable for flexible and multi-dimensional retrieval and analysis of data. This subject presents students with a coverage of several important aspects of data warehousing. These include definitions of terminology, the purpose of a data warehouse, designing the data warehouse, data sourcing, implementing the data warehouse, delivery of data from the warehouse to the manager, organisational issues involved with designing and implementing a data warehouse and case studies of data warehousing practice.


Knowledge and Understanding

Students will gain knowledge of:

C1. The theories and principles of data warehousing

Students will gain an understanding of:

C2. The potential benefits of data warehousing

C3. The techniques and tools for used to design and implement a data warehouse

C4. Theories and principles of data warehousing to the practice of decision support

Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

Development of attitudes that allow them to:

A1. Appreciate how to interact effectively with managers, consultants and vendors in the development of a data warehouse

Practical Skills

Have the skills to:

P1. Design simple star-schema based databases

Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

An appreciation of:

S1. The skills required to be able to work with a managerial decision maker to improve the decision process through the use of Data Warehousing

S2. How to communicate effectively the benefits and shortcomings of Data Warehousing to associated business and professional groups


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed [

IMS9001, IMS9003, IMS9049, or equivalent

Students studying this unit will need to have an understanding of the role of a system analyst (IMS9049) and a basic understanding of personal productivity software (IMS9049). In addition they will need an understanding of the processes and techniques used to develop traditional transaction processing systems (IMS9001), in particular the purpose and practice of data modeling and database design (IMS9003).

Unit relationships

IMS5026 is an elective unit in the Master if Information Systems and Management (MIMS) degree and associated degrees.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

There are no required texts for you to purchase. However, the texts listed below under "Recommended reading" will be found useful and are worthwhile acquiring. Other texts and readings will be listed on the subject website in MUSO – please check this regularly.

Textbook availability

Not applicable.  Recommended readings are available via the library and good technical bookstores.

Software requirements

The unit will make use of several software packages including Microsoft SQL Server. This software will be made available in the student computer laboratories where the tutorials for this unit are scheduled, as well as being available via Microsoft Virtual Lab accessible over the Internet.

Hardware requirements

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Recommended reading

In addition to the texts listed below other texts and readings will be listed on the subject website -please check this regularly

Kimball, R., & Caserta, J. (2004) The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Extracting, Cleaning, Conforming and Delivering Data, John Wiley & Sons

Kimball, R., and Ross, M. (2002), The Data Warehouse Toolkit: the complete guide to dimensional modeling, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons

Kimball, R., Reeves, L., Ross, M., & Thornthwaite, W. (1998) The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit : Expert Methods for Designing, and Deploying Data Warehouses, John Wiley & Sons

Kimball, R. (1996) The Data Warehouse Toolkit : Practical Techniques for Building Dimensional Data Warehouses, John Wiley & Sons


Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for IMS5026 are:

available via the unit website on MUSO. This includes lecture slides (in pdf format), tutorial exercises, reading lists, assignment specifications, unit announcements and discussion forums.

Unit website

Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 Introduction ( weekly lecture topics are subject to change)
2 Data warehousing process
3 Data warehouse design :data modelling
4 Data warehouse design: dimensional modelling
5 Data warehouse design: dimensional modelling cont.
6 Data warehousing methodology I
Non teaching week
7 Data warehousing methodology II Assignment 1 due
8 Data qualityand ETL process
9 Data warehousing technology
10 Data mining, OLAP and Business Intelligence
11 Data Warehousing in organisations, case studies Assignment 2 due
12 Guest speaker
13 Revision


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of two assignments with a weighting of 50% and an examination with a weighting of 50%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Pass requirements
The 40% rule applies to units and determines the final result for a student where the student's performance in either the examination or assignment component of the unit is unsatisfactory. Students need to be aware of the 40% rule which is:


In order to pass a unit, a student must gain all of the following:


· at least 40% of the marks available for the examination component, if any: i.e. the final examination and any tests performed under exam conditions, taken as a whole


· at least 40% of the marks available for the assignment component: i.e. the assignments and any other assessment tasks (such as presentations) taken as a whole


· at least 50% of the total marks for the unit


Where a student gains less than 40% for either the examination or assignment component, the final result for the unit will be no greater than ‘44-N’.


Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Assignment1 = 30%
Assignemnt 2 = 20%
Exam: 50%

In order to pass a unit, a student must gain all of the following:

· at least 40% of the marks available for the examination component,

· at least 40% of the marks available for the assignment component

· at least 50% of the total marks for the unit

Where a student gains less than 40% for either the examination or assignment component, the final result for the unit will be no greater than ‘44-N’.


Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignemnt 1: Research paper week 7 30%
Assignemnt 2: Data Warehouse Design week 11 20 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the IMS5026 unit website (MUSO).

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted via paper submission to your tutor. Do not email submissions.

Assignments should be submitted on or before the due date, which is the end of your tutorial session of the week that the assignment is due. In the absence of other instructions, all assignments are to be submitted to your tutor during your allocated tutorial.


All printed assignment work must be word processed and meet the standards set out in the assignment.


All assignments must include an appropriately signed assignment cover page.



Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments submitted after the due date without an approved extension may be accepted (up to one week late) at the discretion of your lecturer, but will be penalised at the rate of 10% of total assignment marks per day (weekends count as one day).

Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made in writing to your lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.



Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two to three weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

Tutors will provide consultation times and contact details at the beginning of the semester.

Meetings with your lecturer should be arranged directly either via email or in person.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the front page of the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

By arrangement via email ( or phone (9903 2396).

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Dr Rob Meredith
Phone +61 3 990 32396
Fax +61 3 990 31204

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All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 23, 2007