Data mining companies are businesses that help customers to identify and assimilate information or data into a format that makes it useful for a particular application. The process of data mining can be helpful for preparing sales, putting together marketing or public relations campaigns, or assessing the purchasing habits of current customers. While the process of mining data has been around for decades, technology has made it much easier to provide these services in a fraction of the time once required.
When preparing to take on tasks for clients, data mining companies normally assess the data that the customer already has in hand. This can include databases that contain client information, data on the current liabilities of the customer, invoicing and payment data as it relates to consumers, and even internal usage of office supplies. Depending on what type of project the client has in mind, various types of data may be required.
At times, clients are surprised by the types of data that data mining companies may include in an analysis. This is because data that has no apparent connection with the project may yield some small amount of information that makes it easier to accurately apply other data included in the mining process. For example, a company that makes shoelaces may find that by including data about the days of the week when orders are placed, it is possible to determine the best date for launching a new sales campaign.
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Data mining companies work in a confidential environment. Any and all information that is collected and mined on behalf of a client is considered proprietary and will not be used in the mining process for a different client. Typically, data mining companies do not retain copies of the raw data used to create the information profile for the customer, although they may hold on to a copy of the profile itself. Even so, the copy is only retained for the future use of the customer who ordered the project, not for application with any other customer.
Data mining companies tend to have their own internal strategies and approaches. Some companies specialize in mining specific types of data, making them especially helpful for clients within specific industries. The data mining technique can be extended to any time frame, making it possible to prepare a data mining regression that tracks back a number of years. An organized data history of this type can often be helpful when a customer is thinking of making long range changes in the way he or she does business.
At times, the efforts of data mining companies uncover obscure information that seems perfectly innocuous in and of itself, but proves to be of great value when it is applied to a specific situation. Retail chains often find that a data mining application can pinpoint situations where customers tend to purchase two seemingly unrelated products on a given day of the week. This can impact the way the retail store chooses to display items at certain times of the week, as well as when those items are placed on sale.