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Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6167 voice


The amount of raw data stored in corporate databases is exploding. However, raw data by itself is useless. Companies need to turn raw data into insights about their customers and markets to guide their marketing and management strategies. Data mining is a computer-assisted process of digging through and analyzing large datasets and then extracting the meaning of the data. In contrast to conventional, backward-looking analytics, data mining tools predict behaviors and future trends, allowing businesses to make proactive, knowledge-driven decisions. Moreover, data mining can answer business questions that were traditionally too time consuming to address, and often finds hidden patterns that experts miss because it lies outside their expectations.