There is a new very valuable mineral, more valuable than diamonds, gold or californium. This new mineral is known by the name of “data”. With this mineral has also been born a new type of mining, and no, it is not the traditional mining that we know, with pick and shovel, which I studied for several years without anyone mentioning it; this new mining is done instead with a mouse and keyboard, and the miners are not as we imagine them with a helmet and frontal light, but rather with a screen and a computer. This mining is called data mining.
All mining processes have an end: the extraction and subsequent sale of a mineral resource that generates a value. This goal is achieved through some phases, which of course, data mining, as its name indicates, also shares. These phases can be classified in summary form as follows :
All mining begins by defining the problem which it seeks to answer. For both mining activities, it is a basic research phase or general research processes. In particular, for data mining is a phase of research into the needs of the users, as well as conducting an analysis of available data. For both mining operations this is a key phase of the project, since, if the data collected do not cover the needs required, the project would need to be redefined.
In traditional mining, the next phase of the project would be the prospecting phase. This mining term refers to the phase of investigation and the search for evidence of mineral areas. In the case of data mining it is similar; it is a phase of preparation and/or cleaning of data that involves not only an investigation of the location of such data but also a first sifting for data that is inconsistent, not accurate or that will not be useful for the project.
The exploration phase is a phase of valuation and decision-making for both traditional mining and for data mining. For the first, the size and quality of the mineral deposits investigated will be assessed and for the second of the “data” sites prepared and cleaned up.
Once the ore, mineral or data is valued, the next phase is the exploitation of that deposit. Both for the extraction of a demanded mineral and for the extraction or generation of a model that generates patterns with this data.
This ore or the extracted model is subjected to a processing and refining phase. In the case of minerals, they are processed and refined to increase their useful value. For the new mineral "the data" is the same process. The models are tested and refined to generate the best possible results.
The last phase of a mining project is the marketing phase for the extracted ore and the implementation and updating of the model generated through data mining.
Many companies today are betting on having large data deposits, in other words, they are betting on Big Data. The generation, using data mining, of a model that uses this data to improve processes, predict markets, optimize resources, etc. can generate great benefits for those who use it, hence this new mineral “data” is a very valuable mineral, perhaps the most valuable today.