Pros and Cons of Data Mining


Data mining is a useful tool used by companies, organizations and the government to gather large data and use the information for marketing and strategic planning purposes. Also referred to as knowledge or data discovery, this analytical tool allows its users to gather information and come up with correlations they can use for their intended purposes. However, despite the benefits this tool offers, there are also barriers to this technique. Here are six contentious arguments on data mining.

List of Pros of Data Mining

1. Great Analytical Tool.
Proponents of data mining posit that companies can benefit from this analytical tool by equipping them with pertinent and usable knowledge-based information which can be helpful in making marketing decisions. By using previous collected data, these businesses will be able to predict the upcoming trends in the market and be able to improve their services and products to deliver the demands of their targeted markets.

2. Significant Pattern Generation.
Since data mining entails the collection of large data that can create indicative patterns on important factors such as the buying habits of customers and product sales, companies can make the necessary adjustments in operation, production as well as manpower to ensure products offered to the market will result to minimum losses and maximum sales. For example, customers who belong in a demographic who buy a certain product at a given day can be analyzed. With the gathered information, the owner will be able to strategize in order to increase sales like ensuring delivery of a certain product on time.

3. Flaw Detection.
Another benefit of data mining techniques is the detection and identification of errors in the system which can lead to losses. Generated data can be used to detect a drop in sales and the marketing team can discuss and create a marketing plan to bring the sales up again.

List of Cons of Data Mining

1. Privacy Issues.
Opponents of data mining argue that since the process creates patterns such as purchasing behavior of people and demographic factors, it is not unlikely that pertinent information can be disclosed and in effect, is a violation of privacy. They are concerned that security of individuals can also be put in line since the person or entity mining the data can be able to identify specific individuals.

2. Expensive.
People who do not find data mining practical say that this is a mere tool of technology that requires skilled manpower, time and other complexities yet can have scalability issues. Having said this data mining can be expensive. Moreover, start-up businesses with a relatively small target market and do not have a large data do not have a use for data mining since it will prove to be impractical.

3. Risk of Misuse of Information.
Aside from being regarded as a technique that is not 100% accurate, concerned groups say that the data acquired and the trends obtained can get in the hands of shady and unscrupulous people who can take advantage of the vulnerability of clueless consumers and use the information for their personal interests.

Data mining is indeed a technological tool widely used today by different institutions and organizations but there are also advantages and disadvantages attributed to it. That said, it is imperative to ensure that the pros outweigh the cons before using this application to maximize its use.