[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Monash University

FIT5097 Business intelligence modelling - Semester 2, 2013

This unit introduces students to the principles, techniques and applications of computer-based decision support models for business and industry. Topics include: decision trees; linear programming and optimisation; other mathematical programming methods; waiting lines and queues; time series analysis and forecasting; inventory modelling and discrete-event simulation. Models will be built and solved using spreadsheets or other computer applications as appropriate.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Evening)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk

Workload requirements

Workload commitments are:

  • One two-hour lecture per week,
  • One two-hour tutorial per week,
  • Approximately 8 hours per week are required for reading, tutorial exercises and assignment work. 

Unit Relationships




At least one quantitative unit (such as Mathematics or Statistics) in an undergraduate degree.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Mark Carman

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will:
  • have knowledge of a variety of techniques for modelling business decision problems;
  • be able to choose the appropriate decision model for a particular problem;
  • have skills in setting up simple models and solving with hand calculations;
  • have skills in setting up mathematical models for solution in a spreadsheet or other application software;
  • have skills in the validation of models and conducting a sensitivity analysis.
  • have skills in analysing a real problem and reporting the results;
  • understand the difficulty of applying models to real situations, which often requires that approximations, simplifications and generalisations be made;
  • understand that the approximate nature of some types of business modelling means that a sensitivity analysis be conducted.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Please register for tutorials in Allocate Plus. There will be NO tutorials in Week 1. However, students are advised to attempt a "Do-it-Yourself" Tutorial in Week 1 to familiarise with EXCEL basics. No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to Mangement Science and Operations Research; Introduction to Optimisation and Linear Programming No tutorial in Week 1
2 Modelling and Solving LP Problems Graphically Assessment task 2: Tutorial Work is assessed in Weeks 2 to 12 after each tutorial session
3 Spreadsheet Modelling  
4 Sensitivity analysis and the interpretation of solutions  
5 Integer Linear Programming & Goal Programming  
6 Transportation and Assignment Problems; and Network Modelling  
7 Decision Analysis and Probability Theory  
8 Decision Trees  
9 Time Series Analysis and Forecasting Assessment task 1: Spreadsheet Modelling due on 27 September 2013
10 Inventory Modelling  
11 Queuing  
12 Simulation  
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Assessment Summary

Examination (2 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Spreadsheet modelling 30% Friday 27 September 2013
Tutorial Work 10% Weeks 2 to 12 after each tutorial session
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Spreadsheet modelling
    Solving business decision problems by linear programming and integer programming using the Excel Solver
    Criteria for assessment:

    The criteria used to assess the assignment are:

    1. Correctness and understanding - Correct answers are to be provided with explanations and justifications. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying modelling techniques.
    2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
    Due date:
    Friday 27 September 2013
  • Assessment task 2
    Tutorial Work
    Tutorial work will be assessed.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The criteria used to assess submissions are:

    1. Correctness and understanding - We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying modelling techniques.
    2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each tutorial question.
    Due date:
    Weeks 2 to 12 after each tutorial session


  • Examination 1
    2 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    Non-programmable calculators

Learning resources

Reading list

Anderson, D., Sweeney, D., Williams, T. Quantitative Methods for Business, 8th Edition (or latest Edition), 2001, Thomson Learning. 

Lapin LL and Whisler WD, "Quantitative Decision Making with Spreadsheet Applications", 7th Edition, Duxbury Press, 2002

Winston WL, "Operations Research: Applications & Algorithms", 3rd Edition, Duxbury Press, 2004

Winston WL and Albright SC, "Practical Management Science: Spreadsheet Modelling and Applications" 3rd Edition, Duxbury Press, 1997

Monash Library Unit Reading List

Feedback to you

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Prescribed text(s)

Limited copies of prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library.

Ragsdale C.T. (2011). Spreadsheet Modeling & Decision Analysis. (6th Edition) Thomson.

Recommended Resources

Excel Solver is available for use in all University labs.

Other Information


Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Previous student feedback for the course was highly positive and thus no changes have needed to be made this year.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

[an error occurred while processing this directive]