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Data Mining and Predictive Analytics, 2nd Edition by Daniel T. Larose, Chantal D. Larose

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Chapter 5Univariate Statistical Analysis

5.1 Data Mining Tasks in Discovering Knowledge in Data

In Chapter 1, we were introduced to the six data mining tasks, which are as follows:

  • Description
  • Estimation
  • Prediction
  • Classification
  • Clustering
  • Association.

In the description task, analysts try to find ways to describe patterns and trends lying within the data. Descriptions of patterns and trends often suggest possible explanations for such patterns and trends, as well as possible recommendations for policy changes. This description task can be accomplished capably with exploratory data analysis (EDA), as we saw in Chapter 3. The description task may also be performed using descriptive statistics, such as the sample proportion or the regression equation, which we learn about in Chapter 8. Of course, the data mining methods are not restricted to one task only, which results in a fair amount of overlap among data mining methods and tasks. For example, decision trees may be used for classification, estimation, or prediction.

5.2 Statistical Approaches to Estimation and Prediction

If estimation and prediction are considered to be data mining tasks, statistical analysts have been performing data mining for over a century. In this chapter and Chapter 6, we examine some of the more widespread and traditional methods of estimation and prediction, drawn from the world of statistical analysis. Here, in this chapter, we examine univariate methods, statistical estimation, and prediction ...

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