Chapter 4

Learning the Laws of Data Mining

In This Chapter

arrow Getting a grip on the principles of data mining

arrow Making data your informant

arrow Coming to terms with imperfection

Musicians have notes, scales, and music theory. Drivers have the rules of the road. Physicists have Newton’s laws of motion. Every profession has its guiding principles, ideas that provide structure and guidance in everyday work. Data mining is no exception.

In this chapter, you find out about nine fundamental ideas to guide you as you get down to work and become a data miner. These are the 9 Laws of Data Mining as they were originally stated by the pioneering data miner, Thomas Khabaza. This chapter shows you what each of these laws means to your everyday work.

1st Law: Business Goals

Here’s the 1st Law of Data Mining, or “Business Goals Law”: Business objectives are the origin of every data-mining solution.

We explore data to find information that helps us run the business better. Shouldn’t this be the mantra of all business data analysis? Of course it should! Yet novice data miners often focus on technology and others details which may be interesting, but not aligned with the needs and goals of executive decision-makers. ...

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