BOOK REVIEW: Data Mining For Dummies By Meta Brown

BOOK REVIEW: Data Mining For Dummies By Meta Brown

DataMiningForDummiesFull Disclosure: I connected with the author of Data Mining For Dummies, Ms. Meta Brown, on LinkedIn about a month ago, in September 2014. Before then, I had never heard of “data mining” or “BigData.” After several chats with Ms. Brown, I dived into the once-esotheric deep of data mining and BigData . . . and will be forever grateful to her for having introduced me! I purchased the ebook on my own, on 04 October 2014, and blazed through it, cover to cover, in one sitting. Yes, it was *that* compelling, fascinating, well written, and presented!

As an aside, I am a former scientist, trained in physics, engineering and biology. So I LOVE mathematics and statistics and experimental design. Meta Brown’s Data Mining For Dummies is now my fave book on statistical analysis, in general, even though Data Mining For Dummies covers sooo much more. I wish she would rewrite all the statistics and analyses books I studied in university and grad school.

As much as I want to tell you that Data Mining For Dummies is for everyone out there . . . sadly, it is not.

This gem is written for those who at least appreciate general-level mathematics, statistics and experimental design, and how to apply these general yet powerful tools to study various problems and issues in any field.

However, those of you who do not fall into this narrow category above can rest assured that you can and will glean much from Data Mining For Dummies simply by studying the chapter titles, major and minor headings, helpful tips and lists, and using the wonderful resources Ms. Brown has included. Data Mining For Dummies can be understood on an elementary level by employing this method, which then will encourage you to seek assistance from an expert in the field. That way, she will fill you in on the details you did not read about or understand when you glanced through the book on your own.

In this regard, Data Mining For Dummies is for anyone interested in learning about data mining and BigData, and how to gain even better knowledge about these new and exciting subjects and fields.

So, whom is this book truly for?

Data Mining For Dummies is an excellent resource for IT, SAM and ITAM managers and quality-control personnel, all of whom have ready access to BigData from their own respective company. While Ms. Brown has gone out of her way to make the book easily accessible and readable, even conversational (yay!), it is still somewhat advanced for the average professional. Therefore, it is up to the expert to take this book and help the uninitiated (e.g. The Boss) understand and appreciate what data mining and BigData are, how they can assist you in revealing new and helpful patterns about your own BigData, and how to implement what you’ve studied, discovered and learned to the bottom line of your business.

What I really love about Data Mining For Dummies are Ms. Brown’s “9 Laws of Data Mining,” which can be applied to other fields, as well:
1. Business Goals: Business objectives are the origin of every data-mining solution
2. Business Knowledge: Business knowledge to every step of the data-mining process
3. Data Preparation: Data preparation is more than half of every data-mining process
4. Right Model: The right model for a given application can only be discovered by experiment
5. Pattern: There are always patterns
6. Amplification: data mining amplifies perception in the business domain
7. Prediction: Prediction increases information locally by generalization
8. Value: The value of data-mining results is not determined by the accuracy or stability of predictive models
9. Change: All patterns are subject to change

Another very helpful bit of intel is Table 6-1 The Elements of a Business Case:
Situations, Options, Benefits, and Costs. This intel also can be used in almost any business proposal, because it addresses some of the most important elements of a business, in general. I found myself making copious notes on my online Kindle reader, then transcribing them to pieces of paper to hang on my wall in my office!

As stated previously, Data Mining For Dummies also has very helpful resources, including many online sites that have helpful statistics about . . . anything! If you’re a researcher on labor or business or nonprofits, then you’ll find some useful sites to visit. Ms. Brown also lists two dozen portals for federal and local government data and statistics that have FREE data. You also can buy data from sources she lists, as well.

I highly recommend Data Mining For Dummies to anyone who:
1. Has a business or venture or project, and would like to improve its bottom line
2. Would like to get up to speed on the latest in data mining and BigData
3. Would like to become a data miner
4. Supports The Boss as an IT, ITAM, SAM person

Bravo to Ms. Meta Brown for producing what is most certain to become a BIG part of the foundation of knowledge of these hot topics, data mining and BigData!