I am working on my MBA and I have to complete a "Hot Topics" paper. I have been researching the area of data mining, but the topic is so broad I am having difficulty getting my focus narrowed to a specific issue. Do you have some thoughts on a hot topic within data mining?


Sid Adelman’s Answer: Pick an industry. The following are some industry-related areas for data mining:
Health Care

  • Identify patients who will probably not respond well to specific procedures and operations.
  • Discover "best practices" to improve quality and reduce costs.
  • Identify data patterns that could predict future individual health problems.
  • Optimal drug testing procedures.


  • Product analysis
  • Customer segmentation
  • Customer profitability
  • Customer defections
  • Target-marketing campaigns
  • Fraud detection (credit cards)


  • Quality analysis
  • Profitability and problems with suppliers
  • Profitability and problems with customers


  • Advertising effectiveness
  • Market- basket analysis
  • Profitability


  • Analyzing customers most likely to switch to another carrier
  • Understanding customers
  • Understanding customers' desires and expectations in contrast to what they have ordered and what the company can provide


  • Looking for patterns that may be marketing opportunities
  • Looking for patterns that predict delinquencies

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