What is data mining?


What is data mining?

Data mining (sometimes called data or knowledge discovery) is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information - information that can be used to increase revenue, cuts costs, or both. Data mining software is one of a number of analytical tools for analyzing data. It allows users to analyze data from many different dimensions or angles, categorize it, and summarize the relationships identified. Technically, data mining is the process of finding correlations or patterns among dozens of fields in large relational databases

Data Mining is a field of study within Computer Science. It is part of the process of Knowledge Discovery from Databases (KDD). The aim of data mining is to find novel, interesting and useful patterns from data using algorithms (methods of finding such information) that will do it in a way that is more computationally efficient than previous methods.

Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining has increased in popularity because of the large amount of stored data that came about as computer storage became cheaper. From this, there was a need to understand it, and techniques to convert data into information are being continually developed and improved.

Data mining techniques usually fall into two categories, predictive or descriptive. Predictive data mining uses historical data to infer something about future events. Descriptive data mining aims to find patterns in the data that provide some information about what the data contains.

How can data mining affect you?

Data mining can be used for several purposes by different people and organisations. The most notable users of data mining come from commercial, scientific or government backgrounds.

Commercial entities may use the information gathered through data mining techniques to help discover something about their consumers, to help market their products better. Data mining is also used by search engines, such as google to mine web pages for information relating to your specific search query.

Scientific communities may benefit from data mining by using it to find anomalies, clusters or co-locations to name a few. For example, they could discover a relationship between people getting cancer and the location of a chemical plant.

The government could use data mining techniques to uncover patterns in their data. For example, data mining is used to find unusual patterns in the stock market in order to detect insider trading. Data mining is also used to detect scams sent by email. It could also be used to find unusual behaviour to prevent a terrorist attack.

There are many more applications of data mining, which are continually being expanded. The main requirement for performing data mining is suitable data.