Why Data Mining Matters

When I tell people that I am writing a second book on data warehousing, business intelligence, OLAP cubes and/or Data Mining, I generally get the same response, “Huh, wow, that’s deep stuff”.  Well, yes it is, but I don’t have any formal training in math and I can ‘get it’, so can you. Really – even stuff like this diagram below.

Generalization Graph for Data Mining

Here’s a link to article from which I grabbed this cool generalization graph.

Now, about the WHY you care.  I was having a pleasant day at the Huntington Gardens this morning, when my phone started to ring and ring.  Do you know why?  Data Mining – or more precisely, the results of it.  It appears someone had got one of my credit card numbers and was attempting to charge a couple of ‘little’ things – the purchasing pattern was unusual for me, (called an ‘outlier’ in data mining terms) and was immediately flagged and blocked pending verification from me.  Although a bit inconvenient, intelligent use of data mining algorithms saved me from bad charges and helped me to cancel the card immediately.

Does your company use Data Mining?  What are you waiting for?  Here’s our SQL Server site to help you get started.

Oh, and since I am talking about this stuff, given the pattern of fraudulent charges (I asked), I can pretty much tell how my credit card information was ‘leaked’.  You can bet that I’ll be calling that company to let them know about the problem AND, importantly, that I will NEVER, EVER do business with them again.  Are you protecting sensitive information, coding using best best practices, inviting independent security audits of your code? I could go on, but you get the idea.

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