Welcome to the March 2009 issue of ‘The Data Miner’ – the official newsletter of SQL Server Data Mining. This periodic newsletter keeps you up-to-date with the latest happenings in the SQL Server Data Mining world and gives you useful tips to help you get the most from SQL Server Data Mining.

In This Issue (click topic to go directly to it):

  • Visit the New SQL Server Data Mining TechCenter
  • Rexer Analytics’ Data Mining Survey
  • Crosses 15,000 Mark
  • DM Fixes in SQL Server 2008 Cumulative Update

Visit the New SQL Server Data Mining TechCenter

Microsoft TechNet now hosts a new TechCenter dedicated to SQL Server Data Mining. The site brings together data mining content from the official Microsoft product pages, community sites and blogs. It also features a new Data Mining MVP every month (you could be next). Check it out.

Rexer Analytics’ Data Mining Survey

Here’s your chance to have an impact on the general data mining community and share your evaluation of all the DM tools you use, including of course, SQL Server Data Mining. Rexer Analytics is doing their third annual DM survey and it’s closing soon. Highlights from past surveys:

  • Half of data miners indicate their results are helping to drive strategic decisions and operational processes.
  • The most commonly used algorithms are decision trees, regression, and cluster analysis. Usage of time series is increasing.
  • Data miners spend only 20% of their time on actual modeling. More than a third of their time is spent accessing and preparing data.
  • In selecting their analytic software, data miners place a high value on dependability, the ability to handle very large datasets, and quality output.
  • The most prevalent concerns about data mining utilization are: resistance to using data mining in contexts where it would be beneficial, insufficient training of some data miners, and lack of model refreshing.

Sound familiar? Go take the survey now to uphold (or disprove) these findings. Crosses 15,000 Mark

As of this writing, the number of registered users at was 15,790 and it’s growing every day. Here are some fun stats we mined from the site logs:

  • We have registered users from 93 countries with the top three being the United States, the United Kingdom and India (only 30% of you told us your home country).
  • We have an average of 6500 visitors and 40,000 page views per month.
  • Your favorite section is Tips & Tricks, followed by Tutorials and Live!Samples.
  • Wednesday is your preferred “mining” day of the week – that’s when we get the most page views.

The SQL Server Data Mining team is thrilled that so many of you find our homegrown site useful! Send us your feedback on what you else you’d like to see on the web site and we will do our best to comply.

DM Fixes in SQL Server 2008 Cumulative Update

A cumulative update package was recently released for SQL Server 2008 and it is available for download. The update includes the following fixes for Data Mining:

960566 FIX: The chart of a mining model is empty when you browse the mining model in Excel 2007 by using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Data Mining Add-ins for Microsoft Excel
960771 FIX: Some attributes of a nested table do not appear in a SQL Server 2008 Data Mining model when the data source is a cube
960864 FIX: Error message when you view a data mining model in Mining Model Viewer in SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services: “Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.Item has already been added”

SQL Server Data Mining Resources

  • SQL Server 2008 Data Mining Overview
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Product Web Site
  • SQL Server 2008 Books Online
  • SQL Server Data Mining Community Site
  • SQL Server Data Mining TechCenter
  • Ask Questions on the Data Mining MSDN Forum

Back Issues

You can find previous issues (as well as the current edition) of this newsletter here.

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Thank you
The SQL Server Data Mining Team