Data Mining is the art of exploring new, useful, and profitable relationships in data.
In every retail business, we study what happens in order to improve. We study our prospective customers. We study our actual customers. We study what we do and how we do it. We study whether our sales people are competent enough to bring the sales forecasted.
Primary objective is to trigger out patterns of behavior — forecast outcomes — and turn these into profitable opportunities and ventures.
The past study of such patterns was severely limited by the amount of human effort involved, and by the expense of gathering the necessary data to do the relevant exercise.
But, in the last few years, the balance has changed. More data is readily available to most businesses than ever before. More computing power is available to process that data, and automated techniques that can be used to find patterns in that data with limited human intervention. The entire process have become more matured.