Introduction to SQL Data Mining Simplified 101

on Data Cleaning, Data Mining, SQL, SQL Server • June 2nd, 2022 • Write for Hevo

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SQL Server is used primarily as a storage tool to support robust applications in many enterprises. However, as the demands of many enterprises grow, data in SQL Servers have increased rapidly. As a result, SQL Server is now utilized for Data Mining tasks since it consists of information to make data predictions. Today, instead of using programming languages like Python and R, you can perform SQL Data Mining is done to collect, filter, and analyze data for business growth.

Read along to understand better the Data Mining, SQL, and SQL Data Mining tasks.

Table of Content

Understanding Data Mining

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Finding patterns and other relevant information from massive data sets is known as Data Mining or Knowledge Discovery in Data (KDD). Data Mining techniques usage has risen in recent decades, thanks to the emergence of big data and advances in Data Warehousing technology, transforming raw data into valuable knowledge that businesses can employ.

Data Mining has improved corporate decision-making through intelligent data analytics. Data Mining techniques are usually divided into two types:

These techniques help organize and filter data to give the essential information, ranging from user habits to bottlenecks and security breaches.

Getting into Data Mining has never been easier, and collecting meaningful insights has never been faster – especially when combining Data Mining with Data Analytics and visualization tools like Apache Spark. 

The advantages of Data Mining are numerous and diverse. Data Mining provides us with the tools to tackle problems and difficulties in this complex information age. Some of the advantages of Data Mining include:

  • It lets organizations make cost-effective production and operational improvements by acquiring reliable data.
  • It helps to detect credit problems and fraud.
  • It allows data scientists to analyze large volumes of information swiftly.
  • It enables businesses to make well-informed judgments.

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Steps Involved in Data Mining

Collect: Data Mining starts by collecting a colossal amount of data from different sources. The idea is to extract data that can help you answer your business questions. Before beginning any project, verify that the business objectives are specified to collect valuable information.

Prepare: After collecting the data, you need to improve the quality of the information to use it to build models. Since data come from different sources, big data have issues like missing values, outliers, unnecessary characters, and varying data types. During the preparation stage, you have to enhance data quality for building models.

Model Building: Once you obtain the desired quality data, you can focus on building Machine Learning models to identify patterns and correlations among your datasets. Based on the data types, you can use supervised or unsupervised Machine Learning. You can use decision trees, KNN, and more to build models for better decision-making. 

Evaluation: While building Machine Learning models is critical to automating decision-making, you should be aware of the bias it can bring. Any misleading prediction can negatively impact the bottom line. To ensure your models produce accurate results, you must have a system to evaluate the predictions. You can further optimize the model based on the evaluation metrics to gain better insights/predictions.

Understanding SQL

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SQL pronounced as “sequel,” stands for Structured Query Language. It’s an essential language for communicating with databases to handle all the information. SQL is used extensively by data scientists and analysts to upload, query, and arrange data into tables. Today, almost every application is supported by databases that can be handled with SQL queries. For instance, most websites store user data in databases, and many developers use SQL to interact with the data they gather.

Data Manipulation: SQL allows users to alter data within a database and access and analyze it. SQL allows users to make database information more accurate and up-to-date. Inserting, updating, and removing data are all examples of data manipulation. The instructions for executing these are simple (“UPDATE” and “DELETE”), making the process of modifying existing data simple and uncomplicated.

Query Formulation: Queries are essential because they allow programmers to access, change, and arrange data in databases. In this case, the terms “query” and “command” are frequently used interchangeably. When writing SQL queries, use the proper formatting and terminology to get correct results.

SQL Commands

Below are a few examples of the commands and syntax you’ll need to grasp before mastering SQL.

UPDATE: The UPDATE command is employed to rename tables and alter columns to suit new values. Even if the requirements are satisfied many times in a single row, the UPDATE command in multiple-table databases will update all rows that match stated conditions once.

SET: The SET command allows Coders to specify which columns they want to update and what values they wish to enter.

DEFAULT: Users can reset columns to their default values using the DEFAULT command.

WHERE: The WHERE command specifies which rows a user wishes to update. The omission of this command will lead to a change in all the rows.

ORDER BY: Coders can use the ORDER BY command to specify the order in which data rows should be displayed, and this command does not apply to numerous tables.

LIMIT: The LIMIT command allows programmers to limit the number of rows changed by a single command. This clause does not apply to numerous tables.

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Understanding SQL Server

SQL Server Analysis Services has supported Data Mining since its release in 2000. SQL Data Mining includes numerous algorithms like EM and K-means clustering methods, neural networks, logistic regression and linear regression, decision trees, and naïve Bayes classifiers. All models include built-in visuals to aid in developing, refining, and evaluating your models. 

To provide integrated Data Mining solutions, SQL Data Mining includes the following features:

  • Data Mining may be done with any tabular data source, including spreadsheets and text files. SQL Server Analysis Services OLAP cubes may also be simply mined without any difficulties. You cannot, however, use data from an in-memory database.
  • All Data Mining objects are entirely programmable and supported by a controlled API. MDX, XMLA, and the PowerShell extensions for SQL Server Analysis Services provide scripting options. Use the Data Mining Extensions (DMX) language for quick searching and scripting.
  • Integration Services offers data profiling and cleaning and data management and reporting solutions. You may use the SSIS version to create ETL procedures for cleaning data in preparation for modeling, and it’s straightforward to retrain and update models.
  • SQL Data Mining includes the DMX language for integrating prediction queries into applications. You may also delve into case data and get specific statistics and patterns from the models.
  • In addition to algorithms like clustering, neural networks, and decision trees, SQL Data Mining allows you to create your plug-in algorithms.

Understanding SQL Data Mining

A few tasks like Classify, Estimate, Segmentation, Forecast, Sequence, and Associate are employed to solve business challenges with SQL Data Mining. 

Classify: Sorted into categories based on numerous characteristics. For example, based on other data such as age, gender, marital status, occupation, education qualification, and so on, determine if a lead is a prospective customer. 

Estimate: Estimation will be performed using the parameters. House prices, for example, will be forecasted based on the house’s location, size, and other factors.

Segmentation: Natural grouping is done based on the different attributes. The typical corporate example of clustering is customer segmentation.

Forecasting: Predicting a continuous variable across time. Predicting sales volume over the several years is a regular occurrence in the industry.

Sequence: Predicting the order of occurrences is known as a sequence.

Associate: Find common items or groupings in a single transaction. The transaction might be a grocery purchase, a subscription, or an internet purchase.

Conclusion

To uncover patterns in your data, Data Mining uses well-researched statistical techniques. You may foresee trends, find patterns, define rules and recommendations, evaluate the sequence of events in complicated datasets, and get new insights using the Data Mining algorithms in SQL Server Analysis Services on your data. Although Data Mining is not a straightforward technique, SQL Data Mining commands make it simple for a broader range of users to quickly work with big data.

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You can share your learning experience with SQL Data Mining in the comments section below.

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