Chapter 8

Digging into Your Data

In This Chapter

arrow Focusing on specific problems

arrow Building on business knowledge

arrow Appreciating the advantages of your own data

Many organizations possess a mountain of data that’s been collected in the course of routine business, and they’re adding new data each day. As a data miner, you’ll use this internal data as your primary natural resource.

This chapter focuses on framing a problem and finding relevant data within your existing resources. If you have more data on hand than you know what to do with, you’re in the very situation that data mining was created to address. But on the other hand, if your data resources seem skimpy, don’t worry. The ideas in this chapter still apply to you. Make the most of whatever you have! (See more about expanding your data resources in Chapters 9, 10, and 11.)

Focusing on a Problem

A data-mining project begins when you identify a specific business issue to investigate. The narrower and better-defined the question, the more effectively it can be answered. The more clearly the question is defined, the more clearly the data requirements can be understood, as well as the limitations of the answer. If you’re faced with ...

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