Data mining is sorting through data to identify patterns and establish relationships.
Data mining parameters include:
- Association - looking for patterns where one event is connected to another event
- Sequence or path analysis - looking for patterns where one event leads to another later event
- Classification - looking for new patterns (May result in a change in the way the data is organized but that's ok)
- Clustering - finding and visually documenting groups of facts not previously known
- Forecasting - discovering patterns in data that can lead to reasonable predictions about the future (This area of data mining is known as predictive analytics.)
Data mining techniques are used in a many research areas, including mathematics, cybernetics, genetics and marketing. Web mining, a type of data mining used in customer relationship management (CRM), takes advantage of the huge amount of information gathered by a Web site to look for patterns in user behavior.