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Editorial Review

Matthew J. Diehl, Global Operations Team Leader, BOC Gases
"This book takes the reader on a comprehensive tour through the methods and the tools required to transform data into meaningful information and knowledge."

From the Back Cover
"The authors combination of top-tier academic credentials along with years of experience make this work a unique asset. It sheds new light on the process of estimating Advertising effectiveness and I would recommend it to management across industry sectors as an essential reference to increasing firm efficiency." -Rob Young of HYPN Advertising, a subsidiary of Omni Com

"Readers and business practitioners will do well to read this book because it provides them strategies for growing their business, improving efficiency and making larger profits. Even for the non-practitioners it provides valuable information about the changes taking place in this important sector." -Romesh Diwan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Excerpted from Data Mining and Business Intelligence : A Guide to Productivity 
We are in the midst of a drastic transformation in the realm of commerce from that which prevailed over the past 50 years. Innovations in telecommunications, computer processing, and software technology have helped create the Information Economy. This term generally refers to the increased utilization of various forms of Information Technology (IT) to capture,






store, extract, manipulate, analyze and communicate data and information of all forms by firms across industry sectors. As a result, organizations around the globe have greater accessibility to increased amounts of information than any time in the past. Because of the complementary nature of the IT spectrum mentioned above, firms can better transform vast amounts of data into a more vital asset, information, that ultimately enhances the knowledge level of individuals across functional areas of an organization. As the information economy has evolved, the noteworthy progression of which began in the mid 1990s', economists, analysts and business leaders have devoted time and effort to identifying how the implementation of IT can increase the efficiency or productivity of a given enterprise. Many have referred to such innovations that have replaced factors of production in a direct sense, (e.g. labor displacing technology such as ATM's) as a primary driver of productivity growth. However, another source of corporate productivity comes in the form of "reducing the uncertainty of the business process". This idea refers to the process of accessing value added, firm-relevant information in a timely manner. The availability of accurate information enables decision makers across functional areas to better understand the important factors that impact the bottom line of their activities. A clearer picture of those factors enhances their ability to devise and implement policies that more accurately address the problems of a given process or augment successful processes to new levels. The proper utilization of Information Technology therefore increases the overall "Business Intelligence" of a given organization. Enhanced business intelligence helps reduce the uncertainty of those issues that really affect day to day operations at the firm level. Keep in mind however, that one of the pitfalls of the evolution of the information economy has been the proliferation of a variety of buzzwords and phrases that depict nothing more than a rehashing of commonly accepted practices. Does Business Intelligence fall into this category? The answer is no, for all one needs to do is analyze the growth, innovation and implementation of the spectrum of technologies that comprise this space to see the dynamic and tangible value added it provides to corresponding organizations. Firms of all sizes and industry types are utilizing these technologies to help augment their operations to compete, survive and thrive in this new dynamic economy.

"Data mining and Business Intelligence: A Guide to Productivity" helps describe the process by which firms can increase their efficiency by implementing "state of the art" IT. More specifically, it focuses on the high-end analytical software technologies, referred to as data mining, and how it, along with other applications such as On Line Analytical Processing (OLAP), can help decision makers extract information and knowledge from the vast amounts of data they collect on a day by day and minute by minute basis. This work is not written in a technical style but rather addresses the applied methodology behind properly implementing data mining techniques in the corporate environment. It provides an introduction from where the technology evolved (it's theoretical base), an overview of the dominant methodologies that comprise the data mining spectrum and every day business applications where it can produce a value added. By doing so it bridges the gap between the important theoretical academic world and that of the applied side of the business environment. As was mentioned previously, we are undergoing a transformation in the world of commerce, which involves the evolution of e-commerce. This work has not ignored this growing phenomenon and addresses the issue of data mining in an e-commerce environment as well, connecting the more traditional "Brick and Mortar" firm structure to the growing "Click and Mortar" enterprise. "Data mining and Business Intelligence: A Guide to Productivity", seeks to provide a greater understanding of what various forms of information technology offer to the world of business in the evolving information economy. By connecting the technological functionality to prevailing underlying business applications, which incorporate traditional business and economic theory, we hope to illustrate the full potential of data mining and Business Intelligence in achieving increased efficiency for the firm. 

CHAPTER 6   Turning Your 'Brick-and-Mortar' Into a 'Click-and-Mortar'

                                                                                                    Contributed by Engage, Inc.


“As Web ventures begin to view personalization as ongoing processes rather than discrete technologies,
 investments should be made for building a flexible data management infrastructure that can accommodate a
 variety of consumer data and analytical techniques.”

                                                                                                              Jupiter Communications

June, 2000 Report 

The Establishment Goes Wired

I recently read an article about words and terms that evolved exclusively from the American culture.  This piece traced the history of American-born verbiage throughout the 1900s and into the year 2000.  Not surprisingly, many of the words that appeared in later years were some of the most pervasive “buzz” words and terms of our Web-wild culture:  e-business, e-commerce, click-and-mortar, among others.  It’s daunting, really; no wonder some retailers are confounded by what faces them as they ponder the move from offline to online.


But you’ve spent millions of dollars implementing a customer relationship management system to better understand your customers; their wants, their desires, their buying habits.  You’ve used it to great success to build excellent offline customer relations.  You’re now looking for the next big opportunity, the jump into something beyond what you’re currently doing.


CHAPTER 7  Improving the Web Experience Through Real Time Analysis: 

(A Market Basket Approach)                                               Contributed by Macromedia, Inc.



The previous chapter introduced the evolution of the information economy as it addressed the progress of commerce from “brick and mortar” to “click and mortar” corporate initiatives.  The key to the success of this process lies in the management of data by transforming it into usable information and applying appropriate business strategy.  This chapter provides a natural extension as it describes the process by which organizations can achieve success on the internet through the use of data, technology and sound management tactics. 


E-commerce vendors face two important challenges: driving up purchases and maintaining customer loyalty. However, only 2.7 percent of browsers buy from any given Web site and only 15 percent of those buyers return to buy again (Forrester Research, Inc.). To succeed, e-marketers must find ways to keep visitors on their sites. They must make the visitors’ experience convenient, satisfying and personally relevant. Above all, they must entice Web visitors to come back for more.


Copyright © NullSigma Inc. 2001