Data mining is a combination of database and artificial intelligence technologies. Although the AI field has taken a major dive in the last decade; this new emerging field has shown that AI can add major contributions to existing fields in computer science. In fact, many experts believe that data mining is the third hottest field in the industry behind the Internet, and data warehousing.
Data mining is really just the next step in the process of analyzing data. Instead of getting queries on standard or user-specified relationships, data mining goes a step farther by finding meaningful relationships in data. Relationships that were thought to have not existed, or ones that give a more insightful view of the data. For example, a computer-generated graph may not give the user any insight, however data mining can find trends in the same data that shows the user more precisely what is going on. Using trends that the end-user would have never thought to query the computer about. Without adding any more data, data mining gives a huge increase in the value added by the database. It allows both technical and non-technical users get better answers, allowing them to make a much more informed decision, saving their companies millions of dollars.
"Data mining is the process of discovering meaningful new correlations, patterns, and trends by sifting through large amounts of data stored in repositories, using pattern recognition technologies as well as statistical and mathematical techniques" (SPSS). However, really data mining turns databases into knowledge bases which is one of the fundamental components of expert systems. Instead of the computer just blindly pulling data from a database, the compu...
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... database, the individual lengths of the hay represent your data fields, and the needles represent data fields with a relationship worth more to you than all the hay put together" (Newquist).
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