Data mining is an essential process for many businesses, including McDonald’s and Amazon. It involves analyzing huge chunks of unprocessed information to discover valuable insights. It’s no surprise large organizations rely on data mining, considering it helps them optimize customer service, reduce costs, and streamline their supply chain management.
Although it sounds simple, data mining is comprised of numerous procedures that help professionals extract useful information, one of which is classification. The role of this process is critical, as it allows data specialists to organize information for easier analysis.
This article will explore the importance of classification in greater detail. We’ll explain classification in data mining and the most common techniques.
Classification in Data Mining
Answering your question, “What is classification in data mining?” isn’t easy. To help you gain a better understanding of this term, we’ll cover the definition, purpose, and applications of classification in different industries.
Definition of Classification
Classification is the process of grouping related bits of information in a particular data set. Whether you’re dealing with a small or large set, you can utilize classification to organize the information more easily.
Purpose of Classification in Data Mining
Defining the classification of data mining systems is important, but why exactly do professionals use this method? The reason is simple – classification “declutters” a data set. It makes specific information easier to locate.
In this respect, think of classification as tidying up your bedroom. By organizing your clothes, shoes, electronics, and other items, you don’t have to waste time scouring the entire place to find them. They’re neatly organized and retrievable within seconds.
Applications of Classification in Various Industries
Here are some of the most common applications of data classification to help further demystify this process:
- Healthcare – Doctors can use data classification for numerous reasons. For example, they can group certain indicators of a disease for improved diagnostics. Likewise, classification comes in handy when grouping patients by age, condition, and other key factors.
- Finance – Data classification is essential for financial institutions. Banks can group information about consumers to find lenders more easily. Furthermore, data classification is crucial for elevating security.
- E-commerce – A key feature of online shopping platforms is recommending your next buy. They do so with the help of data classification. A system can analyze your previous decisions and group the related information to enhance recommendations.
- Weather forecast – Several considerations come into play during a weather forecast, including temperatures and humidity. Specialists can use a data mining platform to classify these considerations.
Techniques for Classification in Data Mining
Even though all data classification has a common goal (making information easily retrievable), there are different ways to accomplish it. In other words, you can incorporate an array of classification techniques in data mining.
The decision tree method might be the most widely used classification technique. It’s a relatively simple yet effective method.
Overview of Decision Trees
Decision trees are like, well, trees, branching out in different directions. In the case of data mining, these trees have two branches: true and false. This method tells you whether a feature is true or false, allowing you to organize virtually any information.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Preparing information in decision trees is simple.
- No normalization or scaling is involved.
- It’s easy to explain to non-technical staff.
- Even the tiniest of changes can transform the entire structure.
- Training decision tree-based models can be time-consuming.
- It can’t predict continuous values.
Support Vector Machines (SVM)
Another popular classification involves the use of support vector machines.
Overview of SVM
SVMs are algorithms that divide a dataset into two groups. It does so while ensuring there’s maximum distance from the margins of both groups. Once the algorithm categorizes information, it provides a clear boundary between the two groups.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- It requires minimal space.
- The process consumes little memory.
- It may not work well in large data sets.
- If the dataset has more features than training data samples, the algorithm might not be very accurate.
Naïve Bayes Classifier
The Naïve Bayes is also a viable option for classifying information.
Overview of Naïve Bayes Classifier
The Naïve Bayes method is a robust classification solution that makes predictions based on historical information. It tells you the likelihood of an event after analyzing how many times a similar (or the same) event has taken place. The most frequent application of this algorithm is distinguishing non-spam emails from billions of spam messages.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- It’s a fast, time-saving algorithm.
- Minimal training data is needed.
- It’s perfect for problems with multiple classes.
- Smoothing techniques are often required to fix noise.
- Estimates can be inaccurate.
K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN)
Although algorithms used for classification in data mining are complex, some have a simple premise. KNN is one of those algorithms.
Overview of KNN
Like many other algorithms, KNN starts with training data. From there, it determines the distance between particular objects. Items that are close to each other are considered related, which means that this system uses proximity to classify data.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The implementation is simple.
- You can add new information whenever necessary without affecting the original data.
- The system can be computationally intensive, especially with large data sets.
- Calculating distances in large data sets is also expensive.
Artificial Neural Networks (ANN)
You might be wondering, “Is there a data classification technique that works like our brain?” Artificial neural networks may be the best example of such methods.
Overview of ANN
ANNs are like your brain. Just like the brain has connected neurons, ANNs have artificial neurons known as nodes that are linked to each other. Classification methods relying on this technique use the nodes to determine the category to which an object belongs.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- It can be perfect for generalization in natural language processing and image recognition since they can recognize patterns.
- The system works great for large data sets, as they render large chunks of information rapidly.
- It needs lots of training information and is expensive.
- The system can potentially identify non-existent patterns, which can make it inaccurate.
Comparison of Classification Techniques
It’s difficult to weigh up data classification techniques because there are significant differences. That’s not to say analyzing these models is like comparing apples to oranges. There are ways to determine which techniques outperform others when classifying particular information:
- ANNs generally work better than SVMs for making predictions.
- Decision trees are harder to design than some other, more complex solutions, such as ANNs.
- KNNs are typically more accurate than Naïve Bayes, which is rife with imprecise estimates.
Systems for Classification in Data Mining
Classifying information manually would be time-consuming. Thankfully, there are robust systems to help automate different classification techniques in data mining.
Overview of Data Mining Systems
Data mining systems are platforms that utilize various methods of classification in data mining to categorize data. These tools are highly convenient, as they speed up the classification process and have a multitude of applications across industries.
Popular Data Mining Systems for Classification
Like any other technology, classification of data mining systems becomes easier if you use top-rated tools:
How often do you need to add algorithms from your Java environment to classify a data set? If you do it regularly, you should use a tool specifically designed for this task – WEKA. It’s a collection of algorithms that performs a host of data mining projects. You can apply the algorithms to your own code or directly into the platform.
If speed is a priority, consider integrating RapidMiner into your environment. It produces highly accurate predictions in double-quick time using deep learning and other advanced techniques in its Java-based architecture.
Open-source platforms are popular, and it’s easy to see why when you consider Orange. It’s an open-source program with powerful classification and visualization tools.
KNIME is another open-source tool you can consider. It can help you classify data by revealing hidden patterns in large amounts of information.
Apache Mahout allows you to create algorithms of your own. Each algorithm developed is scalable, enabling you to transfer your classification techniques to higher levels.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Data Mining System
Choosing a data mining system is like buying a car. You need to ensure the product has particular features to make an informed decision:
- Data classification techniques
- Visualization tools
- Potential issues
- Data types
The Future of Classification in Data Mining
No data mining discussion would be complete without looking at future applications.
Emerging Trends in Classification Techniques
Here are the most important data classification facts to keep in mind for the foreseeable future:
- The amount of data should rise to 175 billion terabytes by 2025.
- Some governments may lift certain restrictions on data sharing.
- Data automation is expected to be further automated.
Integration of Classification With Other Data Mining Tasks
Classification is already an essential task. Future platforms may combine it with clustering, regression, sequential patterns, and other techniques to optimize the process. More specifically, experts may use classification to better organize data for subsequent data mining efforts.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Classification
Nearly 20% of analysts predict machine learning and artificial intelligence will spearhead the development of classification strategies. Hence, mastering these two technologies may become essential.
Data Knowledge Declassified
Various methods for data classification in data mining, like decision trees and ANNs, are a must-have in today’s tech-driven world. They help healthcare professionals, banks, and other industry experts organize information more easily and make predictions.
To explore this data mining topic in greater detail, consider taking a course at an accredited institution. You’ll learn the ins and outs of data classification as well as expand your career options.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.