Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is "Analytics" and "Data Mining" the same thing?

It is easy to confuse Analytics and Data Mining. Data Mining is a term that was quite popular a little while ago but has kind of lost the attention it once held. Some experts believe that the term "Analytics" has replaced "Data Mining"- its the same thing under the hood. That is not quite true. They are close but different. The table below lists out the differences between the two.


Analytics Data Mining
Discovery Leveraging human judgment is key; automated discovery is a tool to accomplish this goal Automated discovery is key; leveraging human judgment is a tool to accomplish this goal
Reduction & Holism Stronger emphasis on understanding systems as wholes, in their full complexity Stronger emphasis on reducing to components and analyzing individual components and relationships between them
Origins has stronger origins in semantic web, "intelligent curriculum," outcome prediction, and systemic interventions has strong origins in  software and  modelling
Adaptation & Personalisation Greater focus on informing and empowering end users Greater focus on automated adaptation (eg by the computer with no human in the loop)
Techniques & Methods Social network analysis, sentiment analysis, influence analytics, concept analysis, sense-making models Classification, clustering, Bayesian modelling, relationship mining, discovery with models, visualization

References
  • Siemens & Baker (2012). Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining: Towards Communication and Collaboration. Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2012. Available in .pdf format at http://users.wpi.edu/~rsbaker/LAKs%20reformatting%20v2.pdf