Most helpful positive review
on June 19, 2000
This book is an excellent book. The authors explain the various techniques, and show real world examples of their use. Most importantly, they explain the underlying goals of the various techniques, and what to watch out for when using them. I was most relieved to read that I am not alone in having limited success with association rules!
Although some of the particular examples were not the type of examples I deal with, the reasons they were chosen make perfect sense. Data mining owes much of its popularity to people attempting to find churners, etc. But there are plenty of examples covered, and with each one some new insight is revealed. Especially useful to me were the explanations of what it is one sees in the decision trees, lift curves, etc. Also, seeing various problems solved with several of the popular tools (MineSet, Enterprise Miner, etc.) was very helpful. There are many examples from various industries, and you learn something new about those industries too! (If you like the Sesame Street videos of how cans, tires, etc. are made even more than your kids do, you'll love this book for the examples alone.)
It is clear from this book that the authors not only know what they are talking about, they can actually break it down for a newbie like me. I have also had the pleasure of being in one of Mr. Berry's MineSet classes, and he demonstrated the same depth of knowledge and ability to convey it to others in that class as well.
This book is not an algorithm book, but it touches on them. It is not necessarily a tour of data mining tools, but does do this to some degree. It is probably most useful for anyone who wants to know "What is this 'data mining', and how can it help me?" with real world examples to make things clear. If the reader starts out thinking that data mining is just tossing a bunch of data into a tool and getting concrete results back, the confusion will not remain after reading this book. Finally, this book is VERY easy reading. Do yourself (or your boss) a favor and buy this book!