Now that we are at the point of getting introduced to data mining techniques, we quickly realize that there are many different ways of classifying the techniques. Someone new to data mining may be totally confused by the names and descriptions of the techniques. Even among practicing data mining consultants, no uniform terminology seems to exist. Even though no consistent set of terms seems to be available, let us try to use the more popular ones.

Many data mining practitioners seem to agree on a set of data mining functions that can be used in specific application areas. Various data mining techniques are applicable to each type of function. These techniques consist of the specific algorithms that can be used for each function. Let us review these terms again. But before doing that, please see Figure 17-9 showing the application areas, examples of mining functions, mining processes, and mining techniques. Using the figure, try to understand the connections. Please study the following statements:

Figure 17-9. Data mining functions and application areas.
  • Data mining algorithms are part of data mining techniques.

  • Data mining techniques are used to carry out data mining functions. While performing specific data mining functions, you are applying data mining processes.

  • A specific data mining function is generally suitable to a given application area. ...

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