Why Data Mining Is So Important

Illustration for article titled Why Data Mining Is So Important

Data mining, to the uninitiated, sounds like the kind of monotonous computational activity that requires a big computer, a mass of information and little human oversight. But in fact it’s a discipline that blurs the lines between artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics and other cutting-edge disciplines to unearth the golden nuggets that lurk within data.


In this video, Professor Uwe Aickelin explains the basics of data mining and how it can be used to find valuable treasure hidden amongst digital rubble. If you thought statistics was a powerful way of probing large data sets, prepare to be amazed. [Computerphile]

Image by r2hox under Creative Commons license.

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I work in Healthcare and this is basically a huge chunk of my life.

What really amazes me is when I can use the data to find something that I hardly even realized I was looking for, and how it can help me carve out patterns in the data so I can then use what my human brain’s good at and take things to another level.

It’s like like swimming in the data, and every now and then having things like ‘This foster child is getting a suspicious amount of burns at different facilities’, ‘These guys started doing really well when they moved to this facility’, ‘This med is giving these people heatsroke for some odd reason’ or ‘You know, there’s a pattern with some of these guys who start in Medicaid and end up getting retroactive Medicare/SSI’ hop out at you.

I strongly recommend Data Fluency: Empowering Your Organization With Effective Data Communication for the big picture stuff and if you just want to play loading up a tool like Rapid Miner or Tableau and then trying to find a data source that has a question that intrigues you (Those away-game Patriots fumble statistics look mighty interesting for example)

Then, of course, there’s Hans. Everybody loves Hans.