What is data mining? Do you have to be a mathematical genius to find patterns in hidden data? Most software programs for data mining cost thousands of dollars, but there is one program sitting on your desktop that makes a perfect data mining tool for beginners: Excel.
You’ve probably heard the term “data mining” bandied about, but figured it was something you can’t do for your business because the software is too expensive and you need to hire an expert to analyze all that raw data.
Data mining is mainly used in research, marketing, communication, financial and retail sectors.
Data mining, or knowledge discovery is a valuable tool for finding patterns or correlations in fields of relational data resources. It is true that in many instances, data mining isn’t something for the average person to take on. It requires a familiarity and comfortable approach to dealing with numbers and statistics. If you have that kind of analytic mind, you understand Excel and aren’t intimidated by software programs, give it a try.
Microsoft and other sites have free online tutorials to help you learn predictive analytics.
It may seem daunting, but you can learn data mining with Excel for your small business. There are experts in the field who use extremely expensive software and complex algorithms involving vast amounts of data, but your small business doesn’t require that kind of analysis and you don’t have that volume of data.
Because it would take more than this post to explain data mining in detail, we are just going to let you know about resources for your small business, so that you can perform predictive analytics and determine where your business is going.
With Excel, you can use data mining to predict your profitability with regard to customer engagement. You do this by using your customer order history and other historical data to predict future patterns in sales.
Data mining helps you use that information in many effective ways and helps you to reduce costs and increase revenue, especially in a retail environment. By asking these types of questions and using the appropriate data, you will be able to come up with the answers:
- Who is my target customer? You need to know who is buying your product or service and tailor your marketing and sales to that demographic.
- What products are the most popular?
- What trends have been the most successful for my business?
- Should I expand my business to a new location and what is the ideal location for my business?
- How can I identify new sales prospects for my business?
By using a data mining add-in to Excel, provided by Microsoft, you can start planning for future growth. Add to that, a PDF to Excel converter to help you collect all of that data from the various sources and convert the information to a spreadsheet, and you are ready to go.
There is no harm in stretching your skills and learning something new that can be a benefit to your business. Part of the problem with many new ventures is that they can’t see where they should be taking their business. No one can predict the future, however, by using innovative and cost effective software you can gain a considerable deal of perspective and find the direction you need to grow.