Frequently Asked Questions


Q1. What is Data Mining?

Data mining is the data-driven discovery and modeling of hidden patterns in a volume of data. We say it is data-driven because we don’t let assumptions or expectations overrule what the data tells us. In this way it serves as a check against corporate folklore and the tendency to do things the way they’ve always been done. Data mining is also focused on the future. Rather than telling you what happened in the past, data mining addresses why things happened and what is likely to happen next. The illustration below shows that data mining can become a powerful new component in an enterprise’s decision support system.












Data mining has sometimes been referred to as data modeling, data analysis, knowledge discovery, and statistical analysis (although these terms do not mean precisely the same thing as data mining). In recent years, data mining has gained wide application across many industries, as business people put their corporate data stores to greater use.

To learn how the power of data mining is being used in your industry, see that section of our FAQ page.

Or to learn more about Data Mining in general, see one of our articles, like “Digging Up Dollars with Data Mining”, and “Corporate Folklore: Using Data Mining for a Reality Check”. For a list of all articles, click here.

Return to FAQ index