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DM: RE: data mining skeptics

From: Tom Dinsmore
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 10:54:13 -0400 (EDT)

There is a great deal of skepticism and cynicism about data mining among businesspeople because the field is overhyped. Marketing executives are subjected to a chorus of sales messages from vendors whose claims are simply ridiculous.

Individuals with a great deal of experience in traditional modeling tend to be the most skeptical about new data mining products and services. In some cases, these individuals may perceive that new tools and techniques are a threat to their existing competence and capabilities; if you believe that people are responding defensively to your message, encourage them to think about the advantages and benefits in terms of doing their work better or faster.

In other cases, skeptical messages may reflect business values and requirements. For example, data miners tend to focus on very small incremental improvements in model accuracy, improvements that may or may not lead to genuine economic benefits or business utility. Are customers reacting with skepticism to your claims, or are they telling you that they do not value the results you propose to achieve?

Finally, bear in mind that it is your customers' job to be skeptical about new products and services -- if data mining survives (and I believe that it will) it is because data miners will succeed in establishing credibility within the domains they seek to serve.

Thomas W. Dinsmore
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-----Original Message-----
From: Tjen-Sien Lim []
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 1999 8:07 PM
Subject: DM: data mining skeptics

I'm wondering what you'd say to people who are skeptical or even
cynical toward data mining. I've just met people who really dislike
data mining and predict that the entire field won't last long. Since
they're beyond my league, I couldn't convince them that data mining is
a real field and won't vanish. Thanks.

Tjen-Sien Lim                (608) 262-8181 (Voice)
Dept. of Statistics          (209) 882-7914 (Fax)
Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison
1210 West Dayton Street
Madison, WI 53706

P.S. My apology if this is a stupid question.

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