Chapter 12

Getting Familiar with Your Data

In This Chapter

arrow Organizing data properly

arrow Importing data

arrow Examining your data

arrow Knowing data-mining terminology

Before a French chef whips up a dazzling dish, she sets out all the ingredients and tools. She checks that the ingredients are fresh and good, and that the tools work properly. She does not begin to cook until she puts everything in place.

A data miner is no different. Before you whip up a dazzling predictive model, you get acquainted with the data that you will use. You put it where you need it. You make sure that you understand what data you have, how it’s arranged and stored, and whether it is complete and correct.

This chapter shows you how to analyze and evaluate your data.

Organizing Data for Mining

Data mining has very strict requirements for data organization. They are not exotic, complex, or difficult requirements to meet, but they are strict.

Let me use an example to show how data must be organized for data mining. Figure 12-1 shows a sample of data viewed as a table in data-mining software. (See Chapter 2 for more about ...

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