Data mining is the most advanced part of business intelligence. With statistical and other mathematical algorithms, you can automatically discover patterns and rules in your data that are hard to notice with on-line analytical processing and reporting. However, you need to:
- Thoroughly understand how the data mining algorithms work in order to interpret the results correctly.
- Prepare your data appropriately.
- Apply the complete data mining lifecycle for the best results in a project.
This chapter describes the process and the lifecycle of a data mining project. You will learn data mining basics, including the business value and common use cases. Next, you learn how to get an initial understanding of your data and prepare it for data mining analyses. Then you learn how the data mining algorithms in SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) work. This knowledge helps you to select the appropriate algorithm and create the data mining model for a specific analysis. You also learn how to evaluate the efficiency of different data mining models in order to select the best one for the deployment in production. Finally, you see how to maintain your mining models over time and how to integrate them in different products from the SQL Server suite and in Excel. Please note that SSAS in tabular mode does not support data mining; you need to install SSAS in Multidimensional and Data Mining mode.
Understanding the Business Value of Data Mining