Digital Business


The Executive Master in Digital Business is meant for managers, professionals and consultants who intend to lead companies in their digital transformation journeyThe course brings innovation at the center of the decisions that concern the company and the creation of value for brand, services and consumers, developing a holistic approach to knowledge, setting digital skills free from merely technical and specialized debates, relating it to the entire organization. Such systemic view, supported by the extended network of the University of Bologna and the direct contact with the businesses of the Italian excellence, offers the chance to plan and manage the digital transformation in all its processes: from strategy to the analysis of big data and performance, from service design to organization management.

After this educational experience, you’ll be ready to tackle the challenge with yourself, to become a player able to affect decisions at the top of international businesses.

The program is taught in English and it features 11 residentials lasting 3 days each (Thursday, Friday and Saturday, once a month) in order to meet participants’ work-related needs. The lectures on digital core topics alternate with leader’s corners, featuring the presence of e-business managers and professionals, with hackathons, days devoted to team work on specific topics dealt with in class and focus sessions, to deal with cross-cutting themes of the digital business world.

The future course of businesses will be traced by professionals able to speed up their change: book an interview with the course’s Director to be part of it.

THE MASTER IS AN INVESTMENT. THE HONOR LOAN IS THE WAY TO FUND IT.PerTe Prestito Con Lode”, a long-term and low-interest honor loan, with no collateral required to cover the full amount of the tuition fee.  

Riccardo Silvi

Riccardo Silvi

Scientific Director

" Digitalization is a great opportunity to explore and exploit new sources of value creation. However, an effective digital strategy requires a wide range of relevant factors: smart vision of business model, technology skills, ability in the use and interpretation of a variety of data, and last but not least, people engagement and passion. "

Riccardo Silvi

Andrea Pia

Executive Director

" To face the challenges of the digital age, companies need managers that feel comfortable with the constant evolution of the technological context and of the social context and at the same time that are able to identify and maintain the direction of the business strategy and brand strategy. "

Target audience



    The Executive Master in Digital Business aims to develop managers and talented professionals who can manage the following tasks:

    - Management of Digital Transformation
    - Management of Omnichannel Business
    - Management of E-Commerce Platform
    - People Management in Digital Transformation
    - Customer Engagement and Customer Insights

    The Master is open to graduates who should have professional experience of at least 3 years and to people who do not hold a degree. In the latter case, a minimum of 5 years of work experience is required.


Mattia Foscaro

E-commerce Manager, Encomm
EMDB (Ed. 2016/2017)

"The Master is a great opportunity to analyze issues linked to the company digitalization process. Sharing ideas, successful case studies and the continuous presence of many e-business experts are key elements of the program."

Diego De Renzis

Entrepreneur, Technology Advisor & Digital Strategy Consultant
EMDB (Ed. 2016/2017)

"Thanks to the various discussions with managers and professionals from different sectors during the Master, I could understand how the key to redesign the future is the interaction between a new business model creation and the enabling technologies."

Enrico Ninzatti

Luxury E-commerce Consultant
EMDB (Ed. 2016/2017)

"After some international working experiences for fashion companies specialized in the e-commerce I decided to do this Master to deepen my knowledge of the technical aspects of the Omnichannel strategies and of the current retail."

Inga Hockenbring

‎International Strategic Marketing & Digital Business Consultant, ‎D-OOTB Digital-Out Of The Box
EMDB (Ed. 2016/2017)

"The Master is a great starting point to learn about and explore ideas and professional tools for anyone looking to be on the cutting edge in his working field."

Christian Bonnet

Global Account Director, Fashion & Apparel in a leading 3PL group
EMDB (Ed. 2016/2017)

"Investing in getting a good understanding of the current digital landscape for me was a logical step due to my job. During the Master we had the possibility to meet well known sponsors and fantastic managers who gave us a peek into the concrete application of what we were learning. I absolutely recommend this Master for anyone willing to use it as a stepping stone to what will transform all our lifes."


The Executive Master in Digital Business is a master made of people, in which you create formal and informal opportunities for discussion, in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences among the participants. Networking is further developed between students of the same class, between participants and lecturers, as well as with students from other courses and with the School community.

The didactic program is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach which provides different teaching methods and activities.

Two practical activities concludes each module:

  • hackathons: participants will be divided in teams and will work on assigned companies business challenges. Hackathons will be take place in the companies of reference or in Bologna Business School;
  • focus sessions: one-day meetings with managers and professionals on crosscut topics linked to the digital business world.

Participants will work in teams on the digital business analysis of an assigned company; during the Master they will develop pitches on its digital business potential (digital business innovation and digital business generation) and they will develop it into final Project Work.

The project work concludes the didactic program and consists in the deployment of the company business analysis made during the previous modules. The project is a key benefit both for the participants and the companies. The project work is the activity that distinguishes the program and allows students to deepen their practical knowledge of both techniques and tools.

Direct contact with managers and key players of important companies represents a great opportunity for learning and networking.




International Week


The Executive Master in Digital Business is a 10-month part-time program compatible with employment or other professional activities. It consists in 11 on-campus meetings 3 days per month (Thursday to Saturday), online training activities, 1 kick off day and  1 final day for the Project Work presentation. 

The Master is divided into 3 modules:


Each module is formed by courses, focus sessions, meetings with managers and professionals of the digital business world, hackathons and project work sessions (Company Digital Business Analysis). Contents are structured to ensure the succession of the activities and to allow participants to delve into every single subjetc.


9 core courses on specific topics that characterize the module and are developed during the 3 days that make up each residential; 


3 focus sessions one-day meetings on crosscut topics linked to digital business;


18 weeks of distance learning through the e-learning platform of the School: after each residential participants will be asked to write papers on the themes they have dealt with during each course with the support of a specific tutor;


6 leader’s corners meetings with managers and professionals engaged in the e-business field;


3 hackathons one-day activities at the end of each module. Participants will be divided in teams and will work on assigned companies business challenges. Each team will receive a grade that will be part of the participant evaluation;


At the end of module 1 participants divided into groups will begin the digital business analysis of an assigned company; they will develop pitches on its digital business potential (digital business innovation and digital business generation) and will present it at the end of module 2. This analysis will be evalueted and discussed and it will be deployed to become the final Project Work;


The project work concludes the didactic program and consists in the deployment of the company analysis made during the previous modules.



Many academics and practitioners see big data revolution like electrification, which changed the world and the economy.  Big data and business intelligence have become increasingly important in both the academic and the business communities over the past two decades. For example, based on a survey of over 4,000 information technology (IT) professionals from 93 countries and 25 industries, the IBM Tech Trends Report (2011) identified business analytics as one of the four major technology trends in the 2010s. The course has the goal to highlight the connection between big data and business intelligence and the impact of this relation to the business model of companies, with a specific focus on digital business.

Business model analysis is important for both startups and new businesses, which need to discover a successful business model, and for established businesses, which often need to defend or evolve their business models. The goal of this course is to help participants develop a systematic way to think about business models through exercises, case studies, examples and guest lectures by innovative entrepreneurs. Learning points:
  • Learn about new and emerging business models
  • Understand the economics underlying common business models
  • Present your business model in a coherent and logical fashion
  • Design a business model for your innovation
  • Acquire tools for analyzing the business models of competitors and incumbents.

Over the last decade sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices have become paramount for companies as well as for the society at large. To endure, a sustainable strategy has to cope with the competing – and apparently divergent – interests of all stakeholders: investors, employees, customers, governments, NGOs, society and the natural environment. The purpose of this course is to detail and disentangle the links between sustainability, CSR and the key role that digital technologies can play as a mean to translate sustainable strategies into effective outcomes. Through case studies, group discussions and examples of speeches of entrepreneurs and managers, participants will:
  • gain a solid and robust understanding of what sustainability and corporate social responsibility mean in a business context;
  • understand key approaches and frameworks for measuring and reporting sustainability and CSR in organizations;
  • understand what sustainability oriented innovation means and how it can be applied to a digital organizational context.

Today consumers use to buy and get services immediately when they want and need them. Enabling online transactions and mobile transactions is not only a way to monetise and get more customers, but also a real and tangible benefit for people that does not want to lose time in traditional way of payment. A modern payment system unlocks the opportunity of new business models like subscription based services, automatic restock, account sharing and so no. A key aspect of payment services is security, not only related to monetary transactions safety, but also for anti fraud management processes and privacy of historical purchases that can be a very powerful and risky way to profile customers. The purpose of this course is to present basic knowledge of online monetary transactions and security of digital ecosystems.

The course focus on the transition from traditional to individual, context-aware, real-time customer interaction. The rise of social media and digital channels has provided companies with the opportunity to learn more about their customers and to contact them more quickly and directly. At the same time, customers’ expectations of companies with regard to customer management, customer service, and marketing have evolved. The course analyzes how companies adapt their customer relationship management to deal with the digital challenges and opportunities that have come with this change. Companies are transitioning their customer relationship management to focus more on online customer interactions and real-time engagement

The high volume of interrupting messages people are receiving daily (and nightly) makes extremely difficult to win consumer attention today more than in the past. For this reason brands need to communicate values, services and products they want to promote in the right moment and device people want and need, providing a real and tangible benefit to them. Technologies, today gives us this opportunity. A modern successful campaign is built not only on creativity and execution, but also on data, software and real-time operations that guarantee effective media buying and message customization. The course has the goal to highlight the key elements to design, create, manage and measure successful digital advertising campaigns.

Social media has radically changed the way brand communicate with masses. Social Media are platforms that connects millions of people and brands around the world, enabling conversation, content sharing and more generally human interactions. The more meaningful the content – the greater the share of voice. An effective use of these platforms is driven by a data and consumer insights based content strategy able to engage influencers that most matter for a specific brand and by a tech-driven distribution strategy of content. The purpose of this course is to provide knowledge and skills that unlock the opportunity to connect brands with people around the world in a relevant and valuable way.

The key factor for a company and a brand is to be able to provide its customers with a unique and distinctive experience, in particular in the digital era. The experience should be consistent with a purpose and with relevant values that have a positive impact in people's lives. The ability to design and develop the experiences is a discipline that combines design, strategy, innovation and technology. The aim of this course is to provide managers with knowledge and tools so that companies can govern the end-to-end process. During the course you will be introduced to the stages of Discovery, Concepting, UI Design and Build experience.

We are approaching the Industry 4.0 era: giving connectivity to a very large number of common use objects has not only changed the way we live, but also created a whole new business scenario. Environments that were completely closed to the external world are now ready to exchange information between them and represent a huge source of new business opportunities. The Internet of Things is a mixture of technologies and services that enables this digital transformation that we are seeing exponentially increasing in these years. There is no industry or field that has not been affected by this transformation and there already are many examples of how IoT have completely revolutionized the whole way of thinking at them.

This course explores the strategies that companies can adopt in order to establish, nurture and maintain relationships with their customers by using all (“omni”) the available channels, selecting the most appropriate channel mix for each customer or customer segment and integrating the activities performed across all the touchpoints. Students will receive theoretical and analytical tools needed to investigate the customer journey across the multiple contact points. The focus of the course is mainly on, but not limited to, the digital channels and their integration with the offline channels in order to obtain a complete overview of the plethora of firm-customer interactions.  

FOCUS SESSION - The goal is to develop participants' awareness of their own leadership style and boost some of their key skills to manage processes of change in risk situations with authority. The program is based on experiential learning: Participants alternate meetings which are aimed at doing tasks at different moments to observe their behavior, participants will benefit from the assistance of professionals and managers who have significant experience in leading groups and organizations to excellent results.

Business performance analytics is the extensive of data and analytical methods to understand and control business dynamics and performance. The aim of this module is to provide participants with tools and model for the comprehension of the big picture and the design of a firm’s business map; definition of a business performance model; identification and selection of key success factors, information needs, (big) dta sources for performance management; the assessment of performance factors and dynamics; the development of simulations and scenarios; specific tools and models include: financial roadmaps, cost analytics, process, customer, competitors, suppliers measures. Teaching methods: business case discussions. Case Study: Watson (Performance Management, Digital Analytics).

The tools for strategic analysis. Strategy and value creation. Industry analysis and competitive advantage. Analysis of competitors and an enlarged competition model. Resources and skills as essential ingredients of the strategy. The nature and sources of competitive advantage. The strategy of cost leadership and differentiation. Competitive advantage in different market conditions. Value chain and cost analysis. The production system and the value system. Technology and innovation management. Competitive advantage in industries with different levels of maturity.

Learning method

The learning method of the Master alternates classroom learning with distance learning activities on the School’s e-learning platform, which is constantly monitored by a specific tutor.

The distance learning activities entail a weekly work-plan on the School’s e-learning platform that provides an individual learning activity overseen by the specific tutor. The platform is equipped with a Forum aimed at the real time sharing of comments and follow-up between professors and participants.

Courses last an entire residential and focus on a main subject area, ensuring an effective path to progress.
The Master is held in two different locations: a physical one at Villa Guastavillani, home to the Bologna Business School in Bologna and a virtual one i.e. the e-learning platform. Participants will be asked to write papers on the themes they have dealt with during each course with the support of a specific tutor on the e-learning platform.





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The tuition fee for the Master is:

  •  16,200 euros (+ VAT) for enrollments from companies and institutions 
  • 13,200 euros (+ VAT)  for individual enrollments 

Reduced rates are available for applicants enrolling as private individuals as well as for companies that are members of the School’s Business Network.

For further information


The tuition fee includes:

  • Access to the internal gym
  • Participation to the BBS Community events
  • Computer lab
  • Wi-Fi
  • Access to the AIDA database
  • Free parking



Thanks to an agreement between Bologna Business School and Intesa Sanpaolo, Master participants can receive the honor loan “PerTe Prestito Con Lode” without guarantees and at a special rate.

To summarize:

  • Loan amount equal to the enrollment fee
  • Special rate
  • No guarantees
  • Payable in 10 years
  • Without early closing fees


Special terms are available thanks to Interprofessional Funds:

Fondimpresa funds training activities aiming at supporting product and/or process technological innovation for SME’s in the manufacturing industry. Click here for further information.


The Executive Master in Digital Business is at its first edition. It is addressed to managers and talented professional who want to boost their careers in the following fields:

  • Management of Digital Transformation
  • Management of Omnichannel Business
  • Management of E-Commerce Platform
  • People Management in Digital Transformation
  • Customer Engagement and Customer Insights

The program is open to graduates who should have professional experience of at least 3 year and to persons who do not hold a degree. In the latter case, a minimum of 5 years of work experience is required.




The selection process is made through an analysis of the Curriculum Vitae and an individual interview, aimed at identifying the professional profile of the candidate and the consistency with regard to their
participation in the master. In order to apply for the Master selection, a Curriculum Vitae must be sent to

Candidates will be contacted for making an appointment for the selection interview with the Directors of the Master.


The selection interview is necessary but not binding. If necessary, a second meeting can be held to provide further clarification.
There is a rolling selection process which finishes with the end of registration.
The program manager can provide attendance certificates at the end of each lesson to those who require it.


Elisa Lorenzi
Elisa LorenziHead of Executive Masters

Phone: +39 0512090129


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