What do we call what we do?

September 12, 2012
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I’ve called myself a data miner for about 15 years, and the field I was a part of as Data Mining (DM). Before then, I referred to what I did as “Pattern Recognition”, “Machine Learning”, “Statistical Modeling”, or “Statistical Learning”. In recent years, I’ve called what I do Predictive Analytics (PA) more often and even co-titled my blog with both Data Mining and Predictive Analytics. That stated, I don’t have a good noun to go along with PA. A “predictive analytist” (as if I myself were a “predictor”)? A “predictive analyzer”?

I’ve called myself a data miner for about 15 years, and the field I was a part of as Data Mining (DM). Before then, I referred to what I did as “Pattern Recognition”, “Machine Learning”, “Statistical Modeling”, or “Statistical Learning”. In recent years, I’ve called what I do Predictive Analytics (PA) more often and even co-titled my blog with both Data Mining and Predictive Analytics. That stated, I don’t have a good noun to go along with PA. A “predictive analytist” (as if I myself were a “predictor”)? A “predictive analyzer”? I often call someone who does PA a Predictive Analytics Professional. But the according to google, the trending on data mining is down. Pattern recognition? Down. Machine Learning? Flat or slightly up. Only Predictive Analytics and it’s closely-related sibling, Business Analytics, are up. Even the much-touted Data Science has been relatively flat, though has been spiking Q4 the past few years.

data mining
Data Mining
Pattern Recognition
Machine Learning
Predictive Analytics
Business Analytics

The big winner? Big Data of course! It has exploded this year. Will that trend continue? It’s hard to believe it will continue, but this wave has grown and it seems that every conference related to analytics or databases is touting “big data”.

Big Data

 

Data Science

I have no plans of calling what I do “big data” or “data science”. The former term will pass when data gets bigger than big data. The latter may or may not stick, but seems to resonate more with theoreticians and leading-edge types than with practitioners. For now, I’ll continue to call myself a data miner and what I do predictive analytics or data mining.

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