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Decision Support Systems 2017/2018

  • 5 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment


i. To understand the importance and potential of Decision Support Systems in the acquisition of competitive advantages and improvement of planning and decision making
ii. To develop research skills and a critical perspective within the use of Decision Support Systems
iii. To be aware of the decision support capabilities enhanced by the use of Business Intelligence Systems
iv. To acknowledge the structure and functioning of the associated technologies and the methodologies for the development of Business Intelligence solutions
v. To have an overview of the main BI commercially available tools
vi. To know how to use a Business Intelligence tool

Recommended Prerequisites

Knowledge of information systems in terms of their usage by organizations.

Teaching Metodology

In TP classes the exposition-active method is used for the topics of the programme, complemented with the analysis and discussion of papers and case studies in the context of collaborative work. The demonstration method is also used to show the use of some commercially available BI tools. software tools.
In practical classes, the teaching-learning tutorial methodology is used, based on three pillars: a) presentation of videos and tutorials, b) training with practical exercises c) application to projects.

Body of Work

1. Introduction to Decision Support Systems (DSS)
2. Structure, philosophy, classification and components of DSS; Basic architecture of a DSS
3. Types of DSS. The DSS-BI connection
4. Introduction to Business Intelligence (BI)
5. Data Warehousing
6. Business Analytics and Data Visualization
7. Business Performace Management (BPM)
8. Business Intelligence tools: QlikView, Cognos Power Play, MicroStrategy Reporting Suite

Recommended Bibliography

Santos, M. e Ramos, I. (2009) Business Intelligence – Tecnologias da Informação na Gestão de Conhecimento, 2a. Edição Actualizada e Aumentada, FCA.
? Turban, E. Sharda, R., Delen, D. (2010) Decision Support and Business Intelligence Systems, 9th Edition, Prentice Hall.
? Turban, E. Sharda, R., Delen, D., King D. (2010) Business Intelligence – A Managerial Approach, Second Edition, Prentice Hall.

Complementary Bibliography

• Business Intelligence Resources (
• Best Business Intelligence Sites (
• Good DW and Business Intelligence sites (

Weekly Planning

Week 1 – Presentation of the CU.
Week 2 – Introduction to Decision Support Systems (DSS).
Week 3 – Structure, philosophy, classification and components of DSS; Basic architecture of a DSS. Types of DSS.
Week 4 – The DSS-BI connection. Introduction to Business Intelligence (BI).
Week 5– Introduction to BI (cont.) . Data Warehousing.
Week 6– Data Warehousing.
Week 7– Data Warehousing; OLAP and Cubes; Exam #1.
Week 8–OLAP and Cubes; Working with the BI tool Cognos Power Play.
Week 9 – Data Mining.
Week 10– Data Mining.
Week 11- Business Performace Management (BPM).
Week 12– Working with QlikView.
Week 13– Working with QlikView (cont). Working on the practical project.
Week 14– Working on the practical project; Exam #2.
Week 15–Working on the practical project; Presentation of the practical projects.

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

Objectives (i) to (iii) of the course are achieved through the contribution of topics (1) to (3) of the contents, since these allow the student to gradually acknowledge the importance for organizations to have Decision Support Systems. In addition, these will enable students understand the crucial role of these systems in improving the performance and better decision making in an organizational context. The creation of a broad conceptual framework to allow students to identify the several applications of DSS is enabled by topic (3). Topics (4) to (8) of the contents contribute to the aim of making the students aware of the specific role of BI systems as applications of SSD, creating practical skills through the development of several exercises and a practical project, consisting in the development of a BI system, supported by a data warehouse, to analyze the performance of an organization in a specific context.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

In TP classes, the exposition-active method will be used to present the main concepts. The use of questions-answers in these presentations and discussion in the classroom will be used for frequent interaction with students in order to promote their critical thinking, the ability to issue insight opinions and internalize the key concepts. The analysis and discussion of papers and case studies will aim to stimulate critical discussion and develop students' ability to apply concepts to concrete and real situations. The demonstration method will be used for students to acknowledge the main features of some commercially available BI tools.
In practical classes, practical exercises solving will be used to check students' ability to apply the knowledge gained in the TP classes in real situations of development of BI projects, including the identification of KPI's and the definition of a data warehouse for the BI system. The presentation and use of videos and tutorials will enable students to acquire knowledge about some BI tools, so that they will be able to make proficient use of a tool in the development of the practical BI project.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Balanced decision makingYesYes
Commitment to effectivenessYesYes
Commitment to qualityYesYes
Ethical and responsible behaviourYes 
Event organization, planning and managementYesYes
Foreign language proficiencyYes 
Information and learning managementYesYes
Initiative and entrepreneurship capabilityYes 
IT and technology proficiencyYesYes
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYesYes
Relating to othersYesYes
Research skillsYesYes
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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