Ans. Data mining has attracted a great deal of attention in the information industry and in society as a whole in recent years, due to the wide availability of huge amounts of data and imminent need for turning such data into information and knowledge. The information and. knowledge gained, can be used for applications ranging, from market analysis, fraud detection, and customer retention, to production control and science exploration.
Data mining can be viewed as a result of the natural evolution of information technology. The database system industry has witnessed An evolutionary path in the development of the following functionalities as shown in fig. 1.1, data collection and database creation, data management (including data storage and retrieval, and database transaction processing), and advanced data analysis (involving data warehousing and data mining).
Since the 1960s, database and information technology have been evolving systematically from primitive file processing systems to sophisticated and powerful database systems. The research and development in database system since the 1970s has progressed from early hierarchical and network database systems to the development of relational database systems.
Database technology since the 1980s has been characterized by the popular adoption of relational technology and an upsurge of research and development activities on new aid powerful database systems. The steady and amazing progress of computer hardware technology in the past three decades has led to large supplies of powerful and affordable computers, data collection equipment, and storage media. This technology provides a great boost to the database information industry and makes a huge number of databases and repositories available for transaction management, information retrieval, and data analysis.
The abundance of data, coupled with the need for powerful data analysis tools, has been described as a data-rich but information poor situation. The fast-growing tremendous amount of data, collected and stored in large and numerous data repositories have far exceeded our human for comprehension without powerful tools. As a result, data collected. in large, data repositories become “data tombs”- data archives that are seldom visited.
Data mining tools perform data analysis and may uncover important data patterns, contributing greatly to business strategies, knowledge bases, and scientific and medical research. The widening gap between data and information call for the systematic development of data tools that will turn data tombs into “golden nuggets” of knowledge.