As I write this I am back in the office instead of on holiday. I should be on a ship in Red Sea relaxing by the pool. The Ash Cloud encompassing nearly all of northern europe has made life misery for many trying to get to work and return home. I ended up spending the weekend here and it was great until the obnoxious man that owns the Changegate car(clamping) lot in Haworth, Lancashire. Stay away from that one next time I go there and so should you.
This week I’ve been reading up on Oracle’s Data Mining offerings. Data Mining is the extraction of hidden predictive information from large databases. It is an absolutely powerful technology which companies should employ to focus on the important trend information in their databases. This information will help companies focus on the items which will increase or decrease their business performance. For example a company could use this information to trim down customer leads to only the most likely ones.
Data Mining has emerged now that there are ultra powerful computers and ultra powerful software like Oracle to deal with all the data. Two main areas of use are:
- Automated prediction of trends and behaviors. The most likely uses are with marketing and supply. Predicting the best leads for sales and when to buy stock in specific items.
- Automated discovery of previously unknown patterns. The discovery of buying trends in such things as food or real estate.
Typically data mining is fed off the data warehouse. I you don’t currently have one, don’t worry. My colleagues at Chameeya Software Services can build you one. A modeller can then build, with the client’s help, an initial model where the answers are known. Then appy this model to the unknown areas. For example you have information on your current customers and you already know the answers about how much long-distance calling they use. But you don’t know this about your prospects, except that you have information about them, sex, age, location etc. You apply the model to the known customers, if it produces the correct answers, you then apply it to the prospects.
Oracle has now even started allowing customers to do their data mining in the cloud using Amazon’s cloud services (see link).
The bulk of work is performed using Oracle’s Data Miner tool. I’ll discuss more on this in my next blog.