Is Data Mining Hard? Important Things To Remember

Data mining (DM) helps discover patterns and valuable information from large datasets. Generally, the adoption of DM techniques has rapidly accelerated over the last couple of decades.

So, is data mining hard?

It is true to say that the algorithms behind this process can be complicated. Yet, by getting the right tools, the process becomes more accessible.

Thanks to using these tools, it is easy to view and understand your data.

Next, it is possible to identify potential problems. You can then make analytical decisions to solve problems or improve the inefficiencies of your business.

What is Data Mining?

Data mining is a process that uses automation and computers to find big data about trends and patterns. From there, the DM turns them into detailed information and makes meaningful predictions.

DM indicates analyzing data-dense volumes to discover trends, find patterns, and obtain insight into how they can be utilized.

After that, miners can utilize those findings to predict an outcome or create decisions. DM is an interconnected discipline, blending the area of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and statistics.

How Does Data Mining Work?

CRISP-DM Process Diagram.
CRISP-DM Process Diagram.

The DM process follows a six-phase method known as the CRISP-DM, including:

Phase 1:

This step refers to getting started by asking questions like:

  • What is your goal?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • What do you need to solve?

If you don’t clearly understand your goals and needs, the project will generate the desired error. As a result, it leads to unsuitable results or incorrect results.

Phase 2:

Once you’ve defined your overall goal, it’s time to gather the necessary data. First, you need to make sure it’s relevant to the topic and should come from various sources.

Also, you need to ensure that the data you collect are all necessary datasets to handle the objective at this step.

Phase 3:

This stage will usually take you the most time, and it consists of three smaller steps are:

  • Extraction
  • Transformation
  • Loading

In the first step, you will need to extract data from various sources. Then deposit them into the staging area.

The second step deals with cleaning data, populating null sets, removing duplicate data, resolving errors, and allocating all data into tables.

In the third step, it is necessary to load the formatted data into the database for usage.

Phase 4:

This stage indicates addressing the relevant dataset and considering the best mathematical and statistical approach to answering objective questions.

Various modeling techniques are available, including clustering, regression analysis, and classification. In addition, it is not uncommon to utilize various models on the same data to handle specific objectives.

Phase 5:

After building and testing the models, it is time to estimate their efficiency in answering the question(s) you identified in phase 1.

It is the human-driven phase since the person operating the project has to decide whether the model output adequately meets their objectives.

If it cannot, you may need to create a different model or prepare different data.

Phase 6:

Once the DM model has been deemed successful and accurate in answering objective questions, it is time to put it to use.

The deployment can happen in report-sharing insights or a visual presentation. Moreover, it also may lead to action like performing risk-reduction measures or developing a new sales strategy.

Common Types of Data Mining

The DM process is most helpful in determining patterns and emanating valuable insights from these patterns.

Big Data
By getting the proper tools, this process becomes more accessible.

For accomplishing these tasks, miners have to utilize various techniques to create different results. The following are the top five familiar DM techniques.

1. Classification Analysis

This technique refers to assigning points to classes, or groups, based on a specific problem or question to address.

For example, suppose a consumer packaged goods organization needs to optimize the coupon discount plan for its specific good. It might have to review multiple aspects to make the best decision possible. Those aspects could be

  • Sales index
  • Inventory levels
  • Coupon redemption rates
  • And more

2. Anomaly/Outlier Detection

Besides exploring patterns, DM seeks to detect uncommon data within a set.

Anomaly uncovering refers to finding data that does not fit the pattern. It is easy to find fraud through this process, allowing retailers to learn more about declines or spikes in certain products’ sales.

3. Association Rule Learning

This technique refers to seeking to detect the connections between points. So it’s utilized to decide whether a variable or specific action has any traits connected to other actions. (For example, room choices of travelers and dining habits).

So a hotelier can utilize rule insights to deliver beverage and food promotions or room upgrades to boost additional travelers.

4. Regression Analysis

This technique indicates knowing which aspects are essential, which could be ignored, and how those aspects interact.

5. Clustering Analysis

It is essential to define similarities within a dataset and separate points with the same traits into a few subsets.

It is the same as the classification analysis when it groups points. Yet, it does not assign data to previously defined groups for clustering analysis.

Clustering analysis helps determine traits within a dataset, like a customer segmentation based on the need state, purchase behavior, life stage, etc.

Best Uses of Data Mining

Businesses can use DM to make a competitive advantage by leveraging the data it collects on its sales, customers, products, marketing or advertising campaigns.

DA helps them sharpen their operations, enhance relationships with existing customers, and gain new customers.

1. Basket Analysis

It is the most basic application. Businesses utilize basket analysis to explore what their consumers buy or put in the “baskets.”

2. Sales Forecasting

DM can help retailers project sales or set targets by analyzing historical data, such as financial indicators and sales records.

3. Database Marketing

DM helps retailers or businesses comprehend their consumer behaviors, follow contact information and potential customers, and draw more customers to the marketing databases.

4. Inventory Planning

DM can deliver businesses up-to-date info about delivery schedules, production requirements, AND product inventory. Thanks to that, businesses can manage their product stock better and operate more efficiently.

5. Customer Loyalty

Businesses generate an enormous amount of data via loyalty programs. DM allows businesses to create and improve customer relationships.


Hopefully, by now, you should better understand data mining. This process is helpful for any business, and you can do it easily with the right tools.