Thursday, August 26, 2010

Predictive Analytics in Oracle

Whaddya mean, predictive analytics in Oracle?
Yes, you heard me correctly. Oracle has built-in technology that enables end-users and applications to perform advanced analytics without extracting data from the database. This functionality is sold as an option to the Enterprise Edition of the Oracle database - the Oracle Data Mining option. This post is the first of a series of posts that will describe Oracle's predictive analytics offering.

First, a short history lesson. Oracle acquired the assets of Thinking Machines Corporation in 1999. At the time, Thinking Machines was a developer of advanced data mining software, with a strong emphasis on parallel computing (which was a natural extension from their days as a hardware company developing the Connection Machine). After the acquisition, Oracle continued to sell Thinking Machine's existing product, Darwin, but also embarked on a decade-long strategy of embedding the core technology within the kernel of the Oracle database.

Flash-forward to today. Oracle Data Mining has a large assortment of algorithms as well as a deployment environment that is a native component of Oracle's SQL language and execution engine.

Oracle Data Mining supports the following data mining functional areas:

Oracle Data Mining algorithms include (abbreviations provided below to simplify my life in future posts):

The purpose of this blog is to demonstrate the benefits of performing analytics directly in the database by exploring the power of Oracle Data Mining.  Performance, manageability, security, reliability - and everything else the Oracle database has achieved over the last three decades - is now extended to the realm of analytics.