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You must understand the data in order to make appropriate decisions when you create the mining models. Exploration techniques include calculating the minimum and maximum values, calculating mean and standard deviations, and looking at the distribution of the data.
Prospective, proactive information delivery Advanced algorithms, multiprocessor computers, massive databases "What’s likely to happen to Boston unit sales next month? Why?" Data Mining (Emerging Today) Retrospective, dynamic data delivery at multiple levels On-line analytic processing (OLAP), multidimensional databases, data warehouses "What were unit sales in New England last March? Drill down to Boston." Data Warehousing & Decision Support (1990s) Retrospective, dynamic data delivery at record level Relational databases (RDBMS), Structured Query Language (SQL), ODBC "What were unit sales in New England last March?" Data Access (1980s) Retrospective, static data delivery Computers, tapes, disks "What was my total revenue in the last five years?" Data Collection (1960s) Characteristics Enabling Technologies Business Question Evolutionary Step