You’ve likely heard Devo’s 1981 hit song “Working in a Coal Mine” but if you think that “mining” is only something done underground, guess again. Modern mining can turn up important information as easily as coal or sparkly gems.
And “data mining” may unearth strategic fuel for your company’s future. With enough mined data and capabilities you could make data associations that can be used to improve your business. Companies such as IBM are betting that mining of “big data” will take off in a huge way.
Large companies have lots of money and resources, but how can you leverage data mining in a smaller organization?
Outside companies can provide access to data at various levels of detail based on input from you. For example, a simple internet search on Google is a mining activity. Google’s capabilities are certainly broad and powerful but the usefulness of those results will depend on the focus of your research.
More sophisticated services are more refined and, engaged knowledgeably, can meet your specific needs with precise data.
How? As instincts compel me, I will provide a bulleted list of examples:
• What if you’re trying to license or sell your patent(s) and you’d like to identify companies that might be interested? Why not analyze the worldwide patent data to identify companies with similar IP? If they’re in that space and have IP, the odds are reasonably good that they will consider licensing or purchasing your patent(s).
• What if you’re trying to identify a specialized researcher or institution that can collaborate with you? Why not examine the research papers on the subject of your interest and identify the researchers and organizations that published them?
• What if you’re trying to analyze the many activities of your competitors to determine where they’ve focused their future strategy? Why not monitor their research and patent publications to see where the company is investing its time and resources for future profit?
The recent movement to the Internet of Things will drive both the sources and quantities of data dramatically upward. Analyzing these often disparate types of information also will become more complicated.
In summary, the opportunity to benefit from data mining not only exists today, it will likely become imperative tomorrow.
Photo credit: Wolfgang Thieme (Wikimedia)
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