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What is a Data Mining System?

By S. Crawford
Updated: May 17, 2024

A data mining system is a systematic approach to collecting, organizing, and analyzing data sets. Finding patterns and relationships in the data collected is the object of data mining. The patterns and relationships discovered assist organizations in predicting future trends based on past patterns. While these patterns can be useful for prediction purposes, inaccurate patterns occur when the raw data used for analysis are corrupted, misclassified, or do not contain the necessary samples to produce precise results.

Applying a data mining system to previously collected data requires that a structural design be created. Data is then filtered through the architecture. If a sound architecture is in place, the filtered data will reveal patterns and significant relationships among the data. Prior to the advancement of data mining systems, data was collected and delivered to the user as is; however, a properly designed data mining system applies the users’ defined objectives or business models to the data and provides an analysis of the most pertinent information. After further distillation by the system, this information can be used to plan prospective activities and to gauge the potential success or failure of those activities.

By concentrating on data mining, consumer-focused companies operate at higher efficiency. For example, since a data mining system allows analysis of data trends, in the grocery industry this might be an analysis among types of products in relation to a specific type of buyer. Noticing these trends enables the company to predict buying cycles based upon the relationships in that group. For instance, if a local grocery store discovered through its data mining system that working mothers often came in on Tuesdays to purchase frozen pizza, then they could target that group by moving the frozen pizzas to the front of the frozen food display on Tuesdays. This small action has the potential of increasing the grocery store’s profits.

The uses for data mining systems are varied. From surveillance of terrorists to improving video game play, data mining allows for enhancements in processes and strategies that directly affect the users’ experience with the product or service. A large number of businesses use data mining to increase profits by targeting the specific customers most likely to purchase specific items, and then these businesses focus on getting those customers into the store to make purchases. Of course this allows the business to collect even more data from these customers, and they can further refine their data collection methods.

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Discussion Comments
By SushiChamp — On Jun 23, 2011

@Animalz – Data mining applications include games now, so I think data mining is fun too. It’s usually reserved for games like Chess and Go, where a huge database is required.

Those games can’t be won if the players don’t think a few steps ahead, so data mining gives the computer the information it needs to be able to beat even the best human Chess champion.

By Animalz — On Jun 22, 2011

@ginSoul – That’s great! I want to start a data mining business. It sounds like fun. I’m still in school, but I’m studying the concepts.

My favorite one is called “association rule learning”, which means looking for relationships between things. Grocery stores use this one a lot. By analyzing what their customers buy, they can see what is usually bought together. Then, they can do great sales on those items and get people to come shop!

So, they might do something like “buy some chips and get a free tub of salsa”, if those items are usually bought together.

By ginSoul — On Jun 20, 2011

I’m a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert and I use web data mining in order to find data that can help my clients rank higher in search engine results. I mostly do keyword mining.

Keyword mining is when you find out what people are searching for online. If you know the words people are entering into the search engines, it can help you rank high in the search results. For example, one of my clients sells t-shirts. That’s a very competitive industry.

Every time I searched for “t-shirts” on the search engines, his website would show up on around the 10th page. That’s not good for business.

I did some keyword mining and found that a few thousand people search for the term “abstract tees” every month. Using that data, I was able to get him ranked pretty high for that term. It helped his sales quite a bit.

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