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.