Business reasons for data mining

  • I work for an engineering and construction management company. we are beginning to develop a plan for consolidating our financial data into SSAS and i'm wondering what, if any, use of data mining we may get. All of the data mining examples i see focus on retail sales which is not relevant to our business. We have lots of projects, with labor costs and subcontractor costs. Does anyone have any thoughts about the potential uses of the data mining algorithims in this type of business?



  • It depends a lot on the data you have available in SSAS (and other accessible sources) but some things that come to mind:

    - classification/decision tresss-> using something like total project revenue, what are the key influencers to this being larger (or smaller)

    - classification/decision tress -> using a subbie gross profit of subcontractor billed rate less subcontractor cost, what attributes (e.g subbie attributes, project attributes etc) will contribute to a profitable project outcome

    - Market basket analysis (association) -> what services (or products) we we often sell together - is there an opportunity to 'package' services in a way that we upsell or increase profit because we know that the client is very likely to purchase this 'basket'?

    - segmentation -> what are the 'groups' that are our clients? do we market to the identified segments, or is this an opportunity to market differently?

    If you want to get a 'toe in the water' start with DM in SSAS, i would definitely download the Excel addin for Data Mining (office 2007). When you create/import a table of data into Excel this becomes active and provides a nice wizard interface to perform all of the approaches above as well as few more.


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