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Data Mining vs Data Science
Updated on 30th May, 23 453 Views

In this blog, you will learn about data science and Data Mining, how they came to be, their applications in the industry, and the differences between them. 

Businesses and organizations started to realize the enormous value that is concealed in the large amounts of data that are captured on a daily basis. This led them to start introducing and employing different techniques to realize that potential and value. 

The ultimate goal is to derive actionable insights from data. However, this introduced the need for a significant number of technical terms. And although some people use data science and data mining interchangeably, there are significant differences between the two terms. Today, we will talk about some of the most prominent differences between data science and data mining.

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What is Data Science?

While data science, as a term, can be traced back to 1974, when Peter Naur proposed it as an alternative name for computer science, it was actually John Tukey, in 1962, who described a field that resembles modern data science and called it data analysis. 

While, in 1997, C.F. Jeff Wu suggested that statistics should be renamed data science. In the following year, Chikio Hayashi argued that data science should be an entirely new, interdisciplinary concept consisting of three aspects—data design, data collection, and data analysis.

Data science is an interdisciplinary field or domain that involves the use of scientific methods, algorithms, processes, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from a large amount of structured and unstructured data. This, in turn, is used for building predictive, prescriptive, and prescriptive analytical models. 

Data science is related to big data, deep learning, and data mining. It is an intersection of data and computing and is all about digging, capturing (building the model), analyzing (validating the model), and utilizing the data (deploying the best model). Data science blends business with computer science and statistics. 

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Data Science Process Steps

The six steps involved in the data science process are:

  • Framing the Problem: Before solving a problem, it is important to know what the problem is; data questions first have to be translated to actionable business questions.
  • Collection of the Raw Data Required for the Problem: The required data has to be gathered to derive insights and probable solutions by scanning internal databases or purchasing databases from external sources.
  • Processing the Data for Analysis: The data has to be processed before going further and analyzing it for more accurate insights.
  • Exploring the Data: This crucial step involves developing ideas to help identify hidden patterns and insights. 
  • Performing In-depth Analysis: In this stage, mathematical, statistical, and technological knowledge and data science tools have to be implemented to crunch the data successfully and discover and derive every insight possible as well as other crucial factors. The quantitative and qualitative data can be combined and moved into action.
  • Communicating the Results of the Analysis: In this step, insights and findings are conveyed to the sales head to make them understand the importance of the findings and how they can help in business growth. 

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Applications of Data Science

Some of the applications of data science include:

  • Fraud and risk detection
  • Targeted advertising
  • Speech recognition
  • Healthcare
  • Website recommendations
  • Advanced image recognition
  • Internet search
  • Airline route planning

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What is Data Mining?

The term data mining appeared in 1990 in the database community. Data mining is used by retail companies and the financial community for the purpose of analyzing data and identifying trends to increase the customer base and predict fluctuations in stock prices, interest rates, and customer demand.

Data mining is the process of identifying patterns in large datasets. It involves methods at the intersection of database systems, statistics, and machine learning. The overall goal of this interdisciplinary subfield of computer science and statistics is to extract information from large datasets or libraries of data by using sophisticated mathematical algorithms and transform them into a comprehensible structure for further use.

Data mining helps derive insights through careful extraction, reviewing, and processing of raw data to discover patterns and correlations that can be valuable for businesses. Data mining processes include different types of services such as:

  • Web mining
  • Text mining
  • Audio mining
  • Video mining
  • Social network data mining
  • Pictorial data mining

Data mining also referred to as knowledge discovery in data (KDD), is performed with the help of simple or advanced software. The following steps are involved in data mining:

Data Mining
  • Business Understandings: It involves introducing and understanding the objective and work of the business as well as understanding the significant factors that will help achieve the target of the business.
  • Data Understandings: It performs data collection and data accumulation. The data is listed based on the source data, its location, how it was achieved, and if any issues had cropped up. The data is then visualized and checked for its completeness.
  • Data Preparation: It involves the selection of useful data, cleaning it, constructing attributes from it, and data integration from multiple databases.
  • Modeling: It involves selecting data mining techniques, generating test designs to evaluate the selected model, building a model from the datasets, and evaluating the model with experts to know the result.
  • Evaluation: It determines the degree to which the resulting model meets the business requirements by testing it based on real applications.
  • Deployment: It creates a deployment plan and forms a strategy to check the usefulness of the data mining model through maintenance and monitoring.

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Applications of Data Mining

Some of the applications of data mining are:

  • Market analysis
  • Financial analysis
  • Higher education
  • Fraud detection

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Data Mining vs Data Science

  • The biggest difference between data science and data mining lies in their terms. While data science is a broad field that involves capturing data, analysis of data, and deriving actionable insights from it, data mining primarily involves finding useful information in a dataset and utilizing that to identify hidden patterns.
  • Another big difference between data science and data mining is that the former is a multidisciplinary field consisting of statistics, data visualizations, social sciences, natural language processing (NLP), and data mining, which means that data mining is a subset of data science.
  • A data scientist can be considered, to some extent, a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, machine learning engineer, deep learning engineer, and data analyst. On the other hand, a data mining professional cannot necessarily perform all these roles, which can be performed by a data scientist.
  • Another notable difference lies in the type of data used. Data science mostly deals with all types of data such as structured, unstructured, and semi-structured. However, data mining mostly deals with structured data.
  • When considering the nature of work, there is another difference between data science and data mining. Uncovering patterns and analyzing them is a key component of data mining. Data science involves the same, but it also involves forecasting future events by leveraging the present and historical data using various tools and technologies.
  • Data science focuses on the science of data, while data mining is mainly concerned with the process of detecting anomalies and inconsistencies and predicting outcomes.

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Data Science vs Data Mining Comparison Table

The following table further elucidates the topics of data science vs data mining:

Sl. No.Data ScienceData Mining
1Data science is a field of study.Data mining is a technique that is a part of the KDD process.
2It is about collecting, processing, analyzing and utilizing data in various operations.It is about extracting valuable information from data.
3Its objective is to build data-dominant products for a venture.Its objective is to realize the value of data and make it usable by extracting important information.
5It deals with all types of data—structured, unstructured, or semi-structured.It primarily deals with structured data.
6It involves data scraping, cleaning, visualization, statistics, etc.; therefore, it is a superset of data mining.It is a subset of data science as mining activities are in the pipeline of data science.
7It is essentially implemented for scientific purposes.It is primarily used for business purposes.
8It broadly focuses on the science of data.It is more involved with its processes.

Discover the key differences and similarities between Data Science and Computer Science, and make an informed decision. Check out our blog on Data Science vs Computer Science.

Key Takeaway

Whether it is data science or data mining, when it comes to handling the exponentially growing data volume, both play a crucial role in helping businesses identify opportunities and make sound decisions. 

So, while the goal of both data science and data mining is, in a way, similar, i.e., to derive insights for helping businesses perform better and grow, the key differences lie in the tools and technologies that are implemented, the nature of work, and in the stages involved in performing the respective responsibilities to achieve that goal.

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