University of Dundee University of Dundee
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7 December 2009

University launches new MSc in business intelligence

The University of Dundee is taking steps to address a dearth of expertise in an expanding area of commerce by introducing a new postgraduate MSc in Business Intelligence course.

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to skills, processes, technologies, applications and practices used to support decision making within companies. It consistently ranks in executives’ top three priorities and its implementation tops the list of corporate IT objectives.

BI was one of the top ten most popular careers of 2009 in the US, and there is a growing recognition of its necessity across the globe. Despite this, qualified BI talent is in short supply, something the new programme at Dundee will help to rectify.

The course will provide attendees with a thorough understanding of how data, something which enterprises and institutions are becoming increasingly reliant on, should be structured and handled for analysis.

It focuses on best practice in the design of BI systems with particular reference to relational and dimensional database design, the theory and practice of the language of analysis.

Students will work with Dr Mark Whitehorn, an internationally recognised expert within the field. A prolific writer, Dr Whitehorn has authored eleven books on database technology and BI, and holds academic positions with the universities of Dundee and Cambridge.

He said, 'Enterprises have no trouble collecting a mass of data: the big problem is extracting the valuable information therein. Business Intelligence describes a set of technologies that are used to extract information from data.'

Dr Whitehorn also runs a consultancy company which specialises in BI solutions and is a mentor with the globally renowned consultancy company, Solid Quality Mentors.

It has been predicted that a lack of BI expertise will continue in the next several years and will prevent many top global companies from making insightful decisions about their business and markets. Equipped with the skills to design effective BI systems, graduates of the new MSc can step into a successful career within a wide range of public and private sector corporations which regularly deal with large amounts of data. Financial services, retail, leisure and services, education, health care, and pharmaceuticals are among the industries embracing BI.

The course is designed for graduates of computer science, or professionals with a working knowledge of databases. It can be taken on a single or two-year basis to provide flexibility for those people who are already working.

Industry leaders in the field of Business Intelligence have voiced their support for this course.

Martin Willcox, Director of Platform & Solutions Marketing (EMEA), from Teradata Corporation, said. 'Business intelligence is increasingly central to the way successful organisations do business. If there is a more exciting career available in the technology sphere today then I certainly haven’t found it. Teradata is delighted to be associated with the MSc in Business Intelligence offered by the University of Dundee and to be offering moral and material support.'

David Hobbs-Mallyon, SQL Server Product Manager, from Microsoft, also expressed his support: 'Business Intelligence has become an essential discipline, both for gaining insight into how a business is performing and for helping to develop future strategy. I'm delighted that Dundee is running a masters course in such an important subject and Microsoft will be supporting it.'

The first cohort will start the course in January 2010, and a limited number of places are still available.

More information is available by visiting or by emailing

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384768
MOBILE: 07854 953277