Chapter 2. Applied Data Mining Using Microsoft Excel 2007

For many people, Microsoft Excel is the beginning and end of data analysis. It is a great tool for viewing data, performing calculations, and even building advanced financial models. This chapter presents a set of SQL Server Data Mining tools that are intended to bring the power of predictive analytics to the fingertips of Excel users.

The tools are provided as a freely downloadable add-in for Microsoft Excel 2007. At least the Professional edition of Microsoft Excel is required. If you do not have Microsoft Excel 2007, a free evaluation version is available. Just go to www.trymicrosoftoffice.com and select the Office Professional 2007 version.

The tools presented in this chapter were designed with the idea of empowering information workers (people who work with computer data and not necessarily IT specialists) with predictive analytics and do not require a background in data mining or statistics. They encapsulate some common tasks that typically employ data mining techniques but aim to hide the complexity behind an easy-to-use interface.

If this is the first time you've experimented with predictive analytics, these tools will give you a glimpse at the potential data mining offers for analyzing your data. If you are a seasoned analyst, these tools provide a quick way to get insights to your data.

In this chapter, you will learn how to install and set up the Table Analysis Tools for Excel 2007 add-in, how to use each tool, and ...

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