Data Analytics Simplified – A Tutorial, Part 1
By Kato Mivule
Keywords: Data Science, Data Mining, and Data Analytics
- Is it Data Science, Data Mining, and Data Analytics? All mean the same thing. There is a big craze with the term “data science” but there is not that much difference between a data mining, data analytics, and data science.
- I prefer the term “data analytics”; in my opinion it carries less pomp and actually infers someone given to the serious science and art of meticulously discovering and extracting meaningful knowledge and wisdom from data and information.
- I use the term “meaningful” in this regard since each company or entity for that matter seeks to extract information patterns or knowledge from a particular domain that is meaningful and useful to that particular organization. For example, law enforcement and local grocery stores might derive different patterns of information from car traffic data.
- The goal of this tutorial is to provide a simplified and demystified understanding of data analytics a.k.a. data science, and provide examples that anyone can implement of their own.
- The quantity of data is only increasing to the point that most of that data goes unprocessed – without anyone actually finding out what such data means.
- Today folks are talking about big data – referring to extremely large quantities of data, and dark data referring to data that remain unprocessed, with no knowledge or information extracted from it.
- The need for individuals who can extract information, knowledge, and wisdom from such data is a huge need and will remain so for the foreseeable future. We hope this set of tutorials provides a quick and simplified way to learn and apply data analytics skills to extract knowledge and wisdom from a diverse set of data domains.
- Although I will consider other resources, for this tutorial, I shall use as the textbook, “Data Mining: Introductory and Advanced Topics”, by Margaret H. Dunham, Prentice Hall, 2003, ISBN: 0-13-088892-3.
What is Data?
- Merriam-Webster – data are facts or information used generally for calculations, analysis, and planning .
- Wikipedia – data are a collection of unorganized symbols, such as, alphabets, numbers, and images .
What is Information?
- Merriam-Webster – Information is knowledge, facts, or details collected about something .
- Wikipedia – Information is an organized collection of data – symbols, alphabets, numbers, and images, to inform .
What is Knowledge?
- Merriam-Webster – Knowledge is the totality of what is recognized in terms of fact, information, and ideas learned by humanity .
- Wikipedia – Knowledge is an understanding of someone or something based on facts, information, descriptions, or skills, acquired through learning .
What is Wisdom?
- Merriam-Webster – Knowledge that is achieved through various experiences in life and philosophic learning .
- Wikipedia – Wisdom is the skill and ability to reason and then take action based on facts, information, knowledge, experience, and understanding .
- Data analytics is the process of using computation systems and statistics to find meaningful unknown information patterns in data  .