What are Data Mining Applications?

C. Martin

Data mining applications are computer software programs or packages that enable the extraction and identification of patterns from stored data. This type of tool is typically a software interface which interacts with a large database containing customer or other important data. Data mining is widely used by companies and public bodies for such uses as marketing, detection of fraudulent activity, and scientific research.

Data mining applications are computer software programs or packages that enable the extraction and identification of patterns from stored data.
Data mining applications are computer software programs or packages that enable the extraction and identification of patterns from stored data.

There are a wide variety of data mining applications available, particularly for business uses, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM). These applications enable marketing managers to understand the behaviors of their customers and also to predict the potential behavior of prospective clients. An example of the kind of task that a data mining technique may assist with is the prediction of future client retention. For example, a company may decide to increase prices, and could use data mining to predict how many customers might be lost for a particular percentage increase in product price.

Data mining applications are often structured around the specific needs of an industry sector or even tailored and built for a single organization. This is because the patterns within data may be very specific. Banking data mining applications may, for example, need to track client spending habits in order to detect unusual transactions that might be fraudulent. In another example, an application might be used by a government body to detect associations between individuals who may be involved in terrorist activities.

Pattern mining is a term sometimes used to refer to the detection of industry specific patterns in particular types of data. Using this technique, data mining association rules may be detected which can give a likelihood of one characteristic or behavior being associated with another. An example of a data mining association rule detected by a data mining application analyzing data for a supermarket might be, for example, the knowledge that pasta and sauce are purchased together 90% of the time.

The value of data mining applications in business is often estimated to be extremely high. Some businesses have stored large amounts of data over years of operation, yet without an appropriate application are missing out on the very valuable information that may be contained within their existing data. The installation and use of data mining applications can sometimes be an investment that returns dividends quickly by enabling a business to leverage its existing information into more clients, more sales, or greater profits.

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Discussion Comments


what is the difference between a data mining application and data mining software?


@ Babalaas- NPOs use publicly available web tools to search SEC filings, browse social networking sites, view satellite pictures of a prospects home, and even find a prospects associates who may become potential donors.

Information security has become a big issue and for good reason. In this modern era, anyone can run a consumer report on anyone else, getting access to any public records. SEC filings, criminal history, and even some tax filings fall under public records.

Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and a slew of other social networking sites allow access to information that you “share”. Some NPOs even use programs like Google earth, and public real estate records, to determine the value of a high profile prospects home.

NPOs will be able to use these clues to play detective, and determine when someone has a salary increase or a large investment windfall. It’s a fine line between data mining and intrusive behavior.


@ PelesTears- What kind of techniques do these non-profit organizations use to gather this information? This seems like a lot of information to gather with only the information from a business card.

I almost wonder how anything is secure on the web if an organization can get information that easily. Imagine if people used the techniques that you mentioned whose intentions were not so sincere.


The most successful non-profit organizations have high quality data mining applications. The data mining applications combine data collection with automatic notification to help NPOs find the wealthiest donors, all without asking for large amounts of sensitive information.

With the amount of information floating around on the internet, the data mining applications of large charities and hospitals can determine a person's salary range, number of children, likes and dislikes, and personal interests. The applications can usually find all of this information with the info found on a person's business card. This allows large NPOs to customize their sales pitch to each individual, making that person more likely to make a large donation.

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