Back to basics: What is Data Mining? - My Datafication

25 September, 2018

Back to basics: What is Data Mining?


Data Mining is the process of discovering patterns and generate new valuable information from large data sets to solve problems and support decision making. It uses methodologies and techniques from the intersection of data management, statistics, and machine learning to identify previously unknown patterns, classify and group data and summarize previously unknown relationships.

Data Mining Most Useful Techniques

1. Clustering
A descriptive data mining technique which aims to group data objects, so that data in the same cluster are similar to one another and dissimilar to the objects in other clusters.

2. Classification
A predictive data mining technique that assigns items of a collection to target classes, i.e. categories. The goal of classification is to accurately predict the target class for each case in the data.

3. Regression
A predictive data mining technique predict a continuous variable, e.g. stock price, given a particular data set. Regression and classification are used to solve similar problems, but they are frequently confused. Both are predictive data mining techniques, but regression is used to predict a numeric or continuous value while classification assigns data into discrete categories, i.e. predicts the bucket the data objects falls into.

4. Association Rules
A rule-based descriptive data mining technique that explores the given data set and finds frequent patterns, correlations, associations, or causal structures. Given a set of transactions, association rule mining looks for rules to predict the occurrence of a specific item based on the occurrences of the other items in the transaction.

The above techniques can be grouped in two big categories Supervised learning (Classification and Regression) and Unsupervised learning (Clustering and Association Rules) which differ on how they process data. Supervised learning algorithms are trained to learn the mapping function that can use the input to produce the output. On the other hand, Unsupervised learning algorithms have only input data, and no output. The goal of unsupervised learning is to model the underlying structure or distribution of the data to identify hidden patterns and extract previously unknown knowledge.

Data Mining Tools

1. Rapidminer
2. R
3. Python
3. Weka
5. Microsoft Analysis Services

and many more...

You can find here more interesting definitions every data scientist should know! If you have any topic or definitions you would like to hear about, just leave a comment below. If you like the blog, don't forget to "Like" the page on Facebook to keep up-to-date with the new posts.


Data Science Central
Towards Data Science
Department of Statistics, Columbia University


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