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"...If you want to roll-up your sleeves and execute on predictive analytics, this is your definite, go-to resource. To put it lightly, if this book isn't on your shelf, you're not a data miner." - Eric Siegel, Ph.D., President, Prediction Impact, Inc. and Founding Chair, Predictive Analytics World "Great introduction to the real-world process of data mining. The overviews, practical advice, tutorials, and extra CD material make this book an invaluable resource for both new and experienced data miners. -- Karl Rexer, PhD (President & Founder of Rexer Analytics, Boston, Massachusetts)

About the Author

Dr. Gary Miner received a B.S. from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, with biology, chemistry, and education majors; an M.S. in zoology and population genetics from the University of Wyoming; and a Ph.D. in biochemical genetics from the University of Kansas as the recipient of a NASA pre-doctoral fellowship. He pursued additional National Institutes of Health postdoctoral studies at the U of Minnesota and U of Iowa eventually becoming immersed in the study of affective disorders and Alzheimer's disease. In 1985, he and his wife, Dr. Linda Winters-Miner, founded the Familial Alzheimer's Disease Research Foundation, which became a leading force in organizing both local and international scientific meetings, bringing together all the leaders in the field of genetics of Alzheimer's from several countries, resulting in the first major book on the genetics of Alzheimer's disease. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Miner turned his data analysis interests to the business world, joining the team at StatSoft and deciding to specialize in data mining. He started developing what eventually became the Handbook of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining Applications (co-authored with Drs. Robert A. Nisbet and John Elder), which received the 2009 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE). Their follow-up collaboration, Practical Text Mining and Statistical Analysis for Non-structured Text Data Applications, also received a PROSE award in February of 2013. Overall, Dr. Miner's career has focused on medicine and health issues, so serving as the 'project director' for this current book on 'Predictive Analytics of Medicine - Healthcare Issues' fit his knowledge and skills perfectly. Gary also serves as VP & Scientific Director of Healthcare Predictive Analytics Corp; as Merit Reviewer for PCORI (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute) that awards grants for predictive analytics research into the comparative effectiveness and heterogeneous treatment effects of medical interventions including drugs among different genetic groups of patients; additionally he teaches on-line classes in 'Introduction to Predictive Analytics', 'Text Analytics', and 'Risk Analytics' for the University of California-Irvine, and other classes in medical predictive analytics for the University of California-San Diego; he spends most of his time in his primary role as Senior Analyst-Healthcare Applications Specialist for Dell | Information Management Group, Dell Software (through Dell's acquisition of StatSoft in April 2014). Dr. Robert Nisbet was trained initially in Ecology and Ecosystems Analysis. He has over 30 years' experience in complex systems analysis and modeling, most recently as a Researcher (University of California, Santa Barbara). In business, he pioneered the design and development of configurable data mining applications for retail sales forecasting, and Churn, Propensity-to-buy, and Customer Acquisition in Telecommunications Insurance, Banking, and Credit industries. In addition to data mining, he has expertise in data warehousing technology for Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) operations, Business Intelligence reporting, and data quality analyses. He is lead author of the "Handbook of Statistical Analysis & Data Mining Applications (Academic Press, 2009), and a co-author of "Practical Text Mining" (Academic Press, 2012). Currently, he serves as an Instructor in the University of California, Irvine Predictive Analytics Certification Program, teaching online courses in Effective Data preparation, and co-teaching Introduction to Predictive Analytics. Dr. John Elder heads the United States' leading data mining consulting team, with offices in Charlottesville, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore, Maryland ( Founded in 1995, Elder Research, Inc. focuses on investment, commercial, and security applications of advanced analytics, including text mining, image recognition, process optimization, cross-selling, biometrics, drug efficacy, credit scoring, market sector timing, and fraud detection. John obtained a B.S. and an M.E.E. in electrical engineering from Rice University and a Ph.D. in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, where he's an adjunct professor teaching Optimization or Data Mining. Prior to 16 years at ERI, he spent five years in aerospace defense consulting, four years heading research at an investment management firm, and two years in Rice's Computational & Applied Mathematics Department.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 37 reviews
68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Adequate, but not spectacular; definitely for practitioners 3 Jun. 2010
By James - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is for practitioners, not for those seeking a deeper understanding of data mining. It both makes and delivers on that claim. All major data mining topics are covered, though in a necessarily shallow manner in keeping with the book's goal of getting past the theory and moving to the practice.

Oddly, the very start of the book does have a bit of theory in the form of the historical roots of statistics and the limitations of statistics that leads to the need for data mining; I found this bit of history quite fascinating and enlightening; it is something I've found in few other data mining books, and I've read several.

The trouble is, I do like theory a bit. I have a master's in computer science, so I'm a bit biased that way, thus my relatively low scoring of the work.

About 1/3rd of the book is dedicated to working through real problems, and that is the overwhelming strength of the book. If you are one who learns by doing rather than by theorizing, you'll find this book outstanding.

The biggest criticism I have of the book is that it is clear that there are significant parts where the authors just didn't have their hearts in it; it felt like they wrote certain sections because the publisher told them they had to in order to hit some type of target marketing segment.

It's also unfortunate that all three software products provided expire in 90 days or less. I'm never one to accomplish anything in 90 days, let alone get through a 700-page technical work!!! I know they are the 3 top mining tools, but I much prefer RapidMiner, a product that is amazingly feature-rich, so easy to use it is actually fun, supported by a robust open-source model, and free.

Overall, a solid work. But to me, theory matters, that's one star down; and rigorous, enthusiastic writing matters, so that's two stars down. In the 3-stars that remain is lots of hands-on practice if you don't mind expiring software, and for that it is very strong.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The top data mining text on the market 19 Jun. 2009
By Joseph Hilbe - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The "Handbook of Statistical Analysis & Data Mining Applications" is the finest book I have seen on the subject. It is not only a beautifully crafted book, with numerous color graphs, chart, tables, and screen shots, but the statistical discussion is both clear and comprehensive.

The text does not use only one statistical data mining application to display examples, but provides a rather thorough training in the use of both SAS-Enterprise Miner and STATISTICA Data Miner. A section on SPSS Clementine is also provided, giving comparisons between the various packages. Also employed are STATISTICA's C&RT, CHAID, MARSpline, and other data mining and graphical analytic tools.

The text does not burden the typical data mining researcher with the internals of how the various tools work. It is therefore not steeped in equations. Some are to be found, of course, but the emphasis is on understanding the concepts involved and on how to apply these concepts to real data - which is provided to the reader in terms of data tutorials. Specialized datasets have been prepared by both authors and outside experts in various areas of inquiry ranging from entertainment, financial, engineering, clinical psychology, dentistry, demographics, medical informatics, meteorology, astronomy, and more. Each tutorial is associated with data stored on either the associated CD that comes with the book, or which can be downloaded from a companion web site. Worked out examples of how to use data mining techniques on such data is provided to help the reader gain a solid feel for the data mining enterprise. The final third of the book is devoted to a partial selection of the available tutorials. The two earlier chapters demonstrate how to use data mining software for the analysis of data.

I highly recommend this work to anyone having an interest in data mining. I might also add that the Amazon price of $72.37 is truly excellent for an 864 page academic text, having full color tables and screen shots on some one-third of the pages, plus a CD. A bargain indeed.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I really liked this book 27 Jun. 2009
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had experience with many of the statistical tools that fall under the heading of data mining. There are good books on GAMs and so on. What I like about this book is that it embeds those methods in a broader context, that of the philosophy and structure of data mining writ large, especially as the methods are used in the corporate world. To me, it was really helpful in thinking like a data miner, especially as it involves the mix of science and art.

I also had no experience with Statistica Data Miner but have been very impressed with the program relative to those that are less well documented (WEKA) and too darned expensive (SAS EM)

The richness of the examples is so helpful.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Long Overdue 12 July 2009
By Colleen McCue - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Rarely do authors succeed in writing THE comprehensive guide to anything, particularly when the subject matter is as complex, multifaceted and rapidly changing as the field of data mining. The Handbook of Statistical Analysis & Data Mining Applications far exceeds that worthy goal. The text is well organized, thoughtfully written and intuitive. The authors' comfortable style and examples from their own experience make even the most opaque concepts understandable and accessible. By following the CRISP-DM model and incorporating screen shots from the leading data mining platforms, the authors have written an invaluable text that incorporates both industry best practices and best-in-breed technology. Moreover, the math and science behind the concepts and methods are accurate and well-referenced; something missing in the junk science that so frequently passes for "advanced analytics." In successfully integrating these features, the Handbook excels as both a comprehensive teaching text and easy reference that will be used frequently by students and professionals alike. The Handbook of Statistical Analysis & Data Mining Applications is long overdue and certain to become THE comprehensive guide and a classic in our field.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
At last, a useable data mining book 23 Jun. 2009
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the few, of many, data mining books that delivers what it promises. It promises many detailed examples and cases. The companion DVD has detailed cases and also has a real 90 day trial copy of Statistica. I have taught data mining for over 10 years and I know it is very difficult to find comprehensive cases that can be used for classroom examples and for students to actually mine data. The price of the book is also very reasonable expecially when you compare the quantity and quality of the material to the typical intro stat book that usually costs twice as much as this data mining book.
The book also addresses new areas of data mining that are under development. Anyone that really wants to understand what data mining is about will find this book infinetly useful.
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