Thursday, April 15, 2010

Database class update

I am so proud of my database marketing class. We have spent the last several weeks working on some non-statistical techniques of data analysis such as RFM, neural networking, decision trees and cluster techniques. We have also introduced the class to data mining as a discipline and the SPSS Clementine data mining software. The students were so familiar with SPSS that it took a while to get used to Clementine. Although Clementine has an 'easier to use' graphical interface, the students liked the control offered through the traditional SPSS interface. Clementine is more of a 'black box' environment, although it makes certain functions easier than in traditional SPSS. Some of the functions that are easier include neural networking, creating lifts and gains charts and comparting multiple models. Clementine also includes advanced graphics capabilities. I like being able to get a graphic representation of how large a cluster grouping is and the relative importance of different variables in creating the clusters. The students handed in their data mining assignment today. It was great seeing them play with the program and the data and get a real life taste of data mining.
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