Data mining is essentially sifting through your data to find the gems it contains. It allows businesses to make decisions on a combination of accurate facts and human judgment. Up until fairly recently, however, data mining was essentially only practical for enterprises. Now, however, managed IT providers have brought it to the SMB sector.
The basics of data mining
The basic principle of data mining has been around for literally millennia. For example, sailors would learn about winds and tides and use their knowledge to plan their journeys. Over time, more data has become available and it can now be analyzed with the help of technology.
These days, it seems almost incredible to think that, once upon a time (and not so very long ago), floppy disks were a serious storage medium even for enterprises. Now, even the most basic, entry-level cellphones have a lot more storage. That’s just as well because data itself is expanding.
Modern SMBs aren’t just storing documents and spreadsheets (although the latter can be bulky enough). They’re storing entire databases and media files. They’re also wanting their data to be mined both more thoroughly and more quickly.
The benefits of data mining
Data mining is essentially an exercise in statistical analysis. Possibly its single, biggest benefit is that it allows companies to detect patterns of all kinds. Once a pattern is established, data miners can then look for both anomalies and correlations. Ultimately, data mining is what facilitates “data-driven decisions.”
The ability to make decisions based on relatively large quantities of accurate data together with human experience and judgment is arguably one of the defining features of the modern age. Probably its most obvious (and spectacular) results have been seen in science, particularly healthcare. It’s been responsible for some of the most groundbreaking innovations of all time.
Data mining has all kinds of applications in business. It can be used for anything from predicting revenues to identifying purchasing trends, to managing customer relationships. One of its most exciting applications is allowing products and services to be tailored very closely to customer requirements. This brings advanced customization into the mainstream.
How to implement data mining
There are basically three parts to data mining. Firstly, you need to store the data. Secondly, you need to process the data. Thirdly, you need to analyze the output of the data processing. The first two parts are essentially technical challenges. As such, it can often be very useful to sign up for managed IT support in Baldwin Park.
A good managed IT support partner will take care of all the technical challenges involved in storing and processing large quantities of data. In particular, they can assess and resolve any data-security issues. They can also ensure that data mining is transparent to other employees. This may involve making adjustments to your network infrastructure.
Analyzing the data output is still essentially a matter of human judgment. That said, there are plenty of tools you can use to assist with its presentation. These can make it easier for managers to grasp the underlying meaning of the data.