How Data Mining Can Help A Business

1535 words - 7 pages

How Data Mining can help a business
Data mining can help business strike gold when preparing products for a consumer. However, what is data mining? The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) defines data mining as “the process of finding correlations or patterns among dozens of fields in large relational databases” (N.D.). Oracle helps refine this definition, as this method “provides a way to get at the information buried in the data” (Oracle, N.D.). Oracle goes on to state how data mining helps find “patterns that sometimes elude traditional statistical approaches to analysis because of the large number of attributes, the complexity of patterns, or the difficulty in performing ...view middle of the document...

This allows the program to identify the time of day and locations of where a crime is likely to occur, allowing police forces to reduce crime (2009).
Other companies use database programs like Oracle software to gather data. A Midwest grocery store chain used this to help them understand local buying patterns. They found that males are more likely to buy diapers on Thursday’s and Saturday’s along with beer. They also found that the same shoppers were more likely to complete their weekly shopping on Saturday’s, while Thursday’s, they only picked up a few items. This allowed them to adjust a few of store’s patterns such as moving diapers closer to the beer and ensuring that neither product was on sale on Thursday’s.
Companies like Google and Amazon also use the internet to target consumers with advertisements. Amazon uses browsing data on their servers to help target consumers with advertisements. They also use complex algorithms to help identify which advertisements to put on your browser while searching their website and others. Because of their success, many companies are looking to either develop their own method of doing this or acquire the data from Amazon. Contrast this method to Google, they gather data via scanning Gmail e-mails to target advertisements. They also gather data based upon searches, YouTube, which phone numbers that are called using an Android phone, and even the physical location of the user. Many users also feel that they have no control over how Google collects their data.
As the Midwest grocery store, Amazon, many police forces, and even Google, the data produced by data mining is generally accurate. In regards to Amazon however, if you have several users that use the same computer or even using the same internet connection, advertisements for a wife who was searching for cooking pots could appear on the husband’s browsing as he looks for a Camelbak for when he runs. Also, if habits change, it might take a few weeks before a store can adapt to the new pattern.
As mentioned before, there are some privacy concerns. Google is forefront in the concerns for data mining. As they collect every bit of data created by a user, the extreme lack of privacy is a massive concern for many. While the terms of service states that they do this, many users agree to terms of use blindly. Many do not read what they agree to. In one of the latest suit against Google, it is alleged that Google “intercepts, obtains and uses personal information it collections from emails sent to Gmail users, and his argument holds on the fact that, as he is not a Gmail user, he was never asked to accept and abide by any terms of services Gmail subjects its users to” (Huysman, 2012). Google however responds with that no human reads the e-mail and that they only scan for key words, such as if a user is sending a lot of e-mails about camera equipment. However, there is still an expectation of privacy by many users. This lawsuit states...

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