Data mining vs. machine learning – what’s the difference?

Without knowledge and information about whatever is going around the world, a person can never become a part of the human-race, participate, and succeed at it. The point is to always be aware and alert of your surroundings. The reason behind this activeness is to only be more involved in the life and that too in the right way. By saying “right way” we mean being intellectually, physically, socially, spiritually and culturally aware of how things are taking shape around. Knowledge is power and you can’t deny that – unless you’re Cersei, lol. If you have good knowledge about things, you can interact, convince — achieve whatever it is that you want. The only key to that is developing understanding. This applies everywhere whether you are dealing with any relationship, business deal, solving a mathematical sum – a sound understanding of your subject matter would always go a long way. Having said that, we do not overlook the significance of talent and skill that further adds in to make the task possible – whatever it is that you are on.

In this article, we will discuss how “understanding” of a specific area of your interest would help you be more successful at whatever it is that you want to do. Speaking of which, we are to discuss in this article the importance of data mining and machine learning to govern and lead a business. But before we talk about their role in the business department, let’s have a little overview of the basic differences between both the terms.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a sub-branch of artificial intelligence that helps robots learn the behavior of humans. The reason for discovering this is to promote the idea of self-governance for the machines who would be able to make decisions on behalf of humans without their supervision. But that’s not entirely what machine learning is about. It is also about collecting data on human behaviors, choices, desires, nature – everything related to them, through the internet search engines they use. These search engines could be Google, Wikipedia, social media forums or any website they log in to through the internet. Internet indeed has remarkably revolutionized the course of time. It helps to lead people to their interests by analyzing their interests.

Data Mining

It is the process of collecting data of every choice, selection, the interest of humans that they consciously or unconsciously make while using the internet, on Google, Facebook, Twitter – any website they click. Every click made by a user of the internet is recorded, analyzed and processed to make an assessment of what they want, and in response what should be offered to them. The human traffic, in a strategic way, is then led by machines (computers) to the hub of their interests.

The basic difference between the two is: data mining is the process of collecting and storing all the data while machine learning is all about training a device to make use of that data to direct the traffic towards their places of interests.

It is an excellent tool in the field of marketing. Marketing departments take immense advantage of this strategy by creating useful ideas for the pitches, campaigns to the corporate world so to fascinate their target audience; this means that businesses develop and quickly grow when they have smart marketing departments. As mentioned before, learning and understanding of the surroundings and the developing age is necessary to be able to formulate ideas that could benefit them in their interests and movements. It does not mean that these departments have only one ability and that to absorb the light of the age and reflect back; it does have another role, which is to be the source of this light by introducing new ideas around the observed interests of the age. These new ideas have the ability to give a turn to the trends. These turns may not be too sharp, for the fear of complete rejection by the public; they have to be smooth and reflective of the roots they emerge from.

Where has Data mining been used in businesses?

The answer to where it has been used so far in the developing businesses is predictable. Retail. Most of the retailers use the data collected through data mining in order to make their decisions. It greatly helps them in learning what type of customer would find their goods attractive. So basically, data mining is helping retailers to learn about their audience, their target audience and the general public that could be interested in their products.

Another area that has been benefitting immensely from this type of learning is e-commerce.

All the data received from the public about their interests and likes has great significance in bringing the businesses closer to their target customers. E-commerce companies get into data mining for the purpose of getting a deeper insight into their audience. If you have ever seen advertisements on your screen that show the exact thing that you were searching for a day before then there are good chances that an e-commerce company has strategically got a hold of your interested through your clicks and likes and presented to you the objects of your interest. It is also an extremely smart way of selling well to the people who are randomly scrolling through the newsfeed of their social media account. The shopaholics suffer through the intense desire of purchasing the product of their interest once it reaches to them by “randomly” showing up on their screens. With all the lecture on data mining and machine learning, you can safely say that it, in fact, is not random or coincidental.

Data mining also helps police departments and other authorities to know where they have to focus their resources. These departments use data patterns and designs to find surges in a reported crime at a specific place, at a specific time. This practice helps them locate the reason for the occurrence of the unfortunate incident. The tracking efforts made by the local, state or federal agencies also becomes easier with data mining. 

In short, both these practices are highly beneficial for the businesses for all the stated reasons. Companies and industries that use good internet connection remain safe from obstacles that could lead to hindering the process of their growth. Compare and contrast different brands before opting for their services. Spectrum deals might be highly affordable and cost-effective for they offer multiple types of bundle offers for specific needs and requirements.     


After completing her English Literature degree in 2017, Sijdah, set out for a professional career as a Content Marketer so she could feed all 7 of her cats and work towards her ambition of opening an animal shelter one day. She works as a social worker as well as a cat whisperer in her free time – contributing to spreading awareness about child and animal abuse. She also aspires to be an author/ poet like Sylvia Plath and Charlotte Bronte. You can connect with her via LinkedInFacebookTwitter or Instagram.Website:

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