In the recent advancement of technical world, the concept of data mining, the extraction of hidden predictive information from large databases, is a powerful new technology with great potential to help companies focus on the most important information in their data warehouses. Data mining tools predict future trends and behaviors, allowing businesses to make proactive, knowledge-driven decisions. The automated, prospective analyses offered by data mining move beyond the analyses of past events provided by retrospective tools typical of decision support systems. Data mining tools can answer business questions that traditionally were too time consuming to resolve. They scour databases for hidden patterns, finding predictive information that experts may miss because it lies outside their expectations. The Foundations of Data Mining
Data mining techniques are the result of a long process of research and product development. This evolution began when business data was first stored on computers, continued with improvements in data access, and more recently, generated technologies that allow users to navigate through their data in real time. Data mining takes this evolutionary process beyond retrospective data access and navigation to prospective and proactive information delivery. Data mining is ready for application in the business community because it is supported by three technologies that are now sufficiently mature: * Massive data collection
* Powerful multiprocessor computers
* Data mining algorithms
This table shows the development in the field of database and data mining. Evolutionary Step| Business Question| Enabling Technologies| Product Providers| Characteristics| Data Collection(1960s)| "What was my total revenue in the last five years?"| Computers, tapes, disks| IBM, CDC| Retrospective, static data delivery| Data Access(1980s)| "What were unit sales in New England last March?"| Relational databases...