ECTS file :: Blackboard (on-campus) :: Blackboard (distance-learning) :: Course schedules

Course information 2019-2020

This page concerns the “concepts of data management and structured query language” part of the Software and Data Management (SDM) course of MSc Statistics at UHasselt (see ECTS file above). For R and SAS, see blackboard.

This part is organised in 3 lectures. Study material is available as 3 blog posts on, of which PDFs are also available on blackboard.

  1. Part 1: Relational database design and SQL
  2. Part 2: Beyond SQL
  3. Part 3: Lambda architecture

Practical information

Software used throughout the lectures and in the practical session are sqlite and ArangoDB. For sqlite we’ll use the command line interface, as well as the graphical user interface “DB Browser for SQLite” which you can find at ArangoDB can be downloaded from to be installed on your own computer, although there is also a server running at UHasselt in case you have difficulties to do so.

The 3 homework assignments should be performed individually and after each lecture.

The exam is pen-and-paper, and closed book.


The schedule below is for information purposes only; the official schedule is available on BlackBoard!

1. On-campus version

Date Time Topic Location
Tue 24/09 9:30-12:30 Session 1: Relational database design and SQL C104
Mon 14/10 23:59 Due date: Homework 1 BlackBoard
Fri 18/10 09:00–12:30 Session 2: Beyond SQL C104
Mon 04/11 23:59 Due date: Homework 2 BlackBoard
Fri 08/11 09:00–17:00 Session 3: Lambda architecture & answers for homeworks B103
Mon 25/11 23:59 Due date: Homework 3 BlackBoard

Optional but recommended

Date Time Topic Location
Tue 12/11 9:00-12:30 or 13:30-17:00 Practical session 1 C108, C113
Mon 02/12 9:00-12:30 or 13:30-17:00 Practical session 2 C108, C113
Tue 17/11 9:00-12:30 or 13:30-17:00 Practical session 3 C108, C113

2. Distance-learning version

Suggested timings

Week Topic
Week 3: 30/09-04/10 Relational database design and SQL
Week 5: 14/10-18/10 Beyond SQL
Week 9: 11/11-15/11 Lambda architecture

Key dates

Date Time Activity
Wed 16/10 17:00-19:00 Contact moment 1
Mon 21/10 23:59 Deadline Homework 1
Mon 28/10 17:00-19:00 Contact moment 2
Wed 04/11 23:59 Deadline Homework 2
Wed 20/11 17:00-19:00 Contact moment 3
Tue 26/11 23:59 Deadline Homework 3

Goal of (this part of) the course

Students should be able to construct and retrieve information from a normalised database using Structured Query Language (SQL) in sqlite, as well as understand the possibilities of NoSQL databases (i.c. ArangoDB).

  • normalised database = a collection of data tables with desirable relational properties respecting particular data requirements. This enables unambiguous data retrieval, efficient data storage, data protection, etc
  • SQL = standardised system used to combine data tables in a normalised relational database. This enables retrieval of data, answers to ad-hoc questions, etc
  • sqlite = Data Base Management System (DBMS) that allows you to store the collection of data (= database), supports a query language, produces reports, and creates data entry screens. Other examples are Microsoft Access, Oracle DB, Filemaker, etc.

The data management part covers:

  • what data do we need to record and how are we going to collect them?
  • how to store this data in an efficient way (i.c. in a relational database or a NoSQL database)
  • how to ask this data questions