Data Mining Tools & Solutions
Big data is no longer only for big businesses with big budgets. Today, any company worth its salt must have an analytical approach to their business model for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost, quality information drives wise and educated decisions and in a world with shrinking margins, the importance of this information cannot be overstated. Data mining is the easiest and most efficient way to obtain that information, but since most companies don’t have the money to hire full blown data scientists, here are five data mining solutions for businesses of all sizes.
What is Data Mining?
Before jumping in and analyzing the tools that are available for data mining, it is important to understand the concept of Data Mining. Data mining is a process designed to explore large sets of data in search of patterns. The goal of data mining is prediction and ultimately predictive modeling, to forecast trends based on those patterns found.
Tertiary Products: Google Analytics & R
- Google Analytics is the perfect place to start. It isn’t a true data mining piece of software, but if your company truly has no analytical arm at all then this product could be a great launching point to help show the power of knowing your data. Google Analytics can measure long term data trends for your website and allow you to make more quality decisions.
- R is at its truest form a programming language, so I cannot truly consider it a data mining tool, but it can possess great data mining power. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of libraries that can be incorporated into the R environment making it a powerful tool. Many solution tools, such as SAP Predictive Analysis and Tibco Spotfire, support R and will only marry the data mining power if used together.
True Open Source Data Mining Software
- Orange is an open source data analysis tool for beginners and veterans. Data mining can be achieved through in-depth visual programming or even Python scripting. Orange is packed with visualization tools (scatter plots, bar graphs, etc.) and even remembers and suggest the most frequently used.
- Weka is a Java based suite of software applications. It contains a collection of algorithms, as well as data mining tasks, which can help you take your data and make data predictions from it. Weka also contains tools for data pre-processing, classification, regression, clustering, association rules, and visualization. My favorite feature though is that Weka provides access to SQL databases and can process the result returned by the database query.
- RapidMiner may be the last tool listed on this post, but it is also one of the most popular. It has over 600 enterprise customers and more than 250,000 active users. RapidMiner is a tool for data mining, text mining, and business analytics that can be used to display collections of data in an easily consumable format. It is used for businesses, research, education, training, and prototyping, making it one of the most versatile tools on the list.
Understanding your company’s data is a quick way to propel your company forward. Often, data can be overlooked, or viewed as too expensive of an investment, but the tools listed above can help anyone begin using their data to make better decisions today.