Data Mining Services

Key Points

  • Microsoft data mining tools make data mining an affordable option for all organisations and the Excel interface is ideal for powers user and analysts
  • Market Basket analysis helps you understand which products sell together providing the opportunity for focused cross selling and upselling
  • Text mining unlocks the value of descriptive and textual fields in your database. If you thought these fields were too unstructured for analysis you were very wrong!
  • Classification algorithsm allow you to automatically group your customers, products or other crucial business entities into groups and executed targeted action based on their common properties
  • Predictive and regression algorithms allow you see patterns in activity over time and predict trends

Data mining is probably the most under exploited area of business intelligence. But there are many applications of data mining that are intuitive to the business and could save hundreds of hours of traditional analysis.

About CMBI

Data mining

A data mining project should not be a daunting prospective. CMBI can show you how to take the first steps into this exciting world whilst using a familar environment and without exposure to high cost or risk.

Data mining with Analysis Services (SSAS) and Excel

We use Analysis Services in combination with Excel to provide data mining insights across a range of business problems. The advantage of this approach is that you are probably already licensed for these tools.

With the Excel interface it can be as little as half-a-dozen mouse clicks to gain insights that would take weeks to derive using traditional ad hoc analysis.

CMBI support the full lifecyle of data mining activities which we briefly describe below.

Data mining requirements analysis

It is rare for a business problem to be described as a data mining problem. Many people are familiar with the advantages of dashboarding and ad hoc analysis and may express express a requirement for such a soluton. Data mining problems tend to be expressed as a simply question that is nonetheless very difficult to answer with traditional analysis techniques.

By way of example we consider the following business question.

How can I increase cross-selling of my products?

Our high level approach to this question would be to map the various stages of understanding to the capabilities of the data mining algorithms.

Step 1 - understand which products are sold together using an association mining algorithm.

Step 2 - understand the natural grouping of customers using a classification algorithm

Step 3 - promote the frequently sold product sets to customers that share the same characteristics as other customers who bought those product sets

Data mining preparation

Data mining algorithsm expect to receive data in a certain format. Depending on the volume of data and required level of confidence in the predictions, there will be a number of pre-execution. CMBI can guide you through these tasks including the need to cleanse the data, remove outlyers, and structure the data for efficient processing.

Operational insights

The first results from a data mining exercise are often very exciting and can provide immediate quantifiable business value. The next stage of maturity is to embed these insights into operational processes. CMBI can build the data processing, dashboards and reports to expose these insights to operational processes, improving the efficiency of everyday business activity.

See Also