Difference Between Descriptive and Predictive Data Mining



In this post, we will understand the difference between descriptive data mining and predictive data mining.

Descriptive Data Mining

  • It tries to understand what happened in the past by analyzing the stored data.

  • The data it provides is accurate.

  • It provides standard reporting.

  • It also provides ad-hoc reporting.

  • It uses a reactive approach.

  • It uses data aggregation and data mining.

  • It tells about the characteristics of data in the target dataset.

  • Questions such as −

    • what happened?

    • where is the problem?

    • what is the frequency of this problem?

Predictive Data Mining

  • It tries to understand what could happen in the future using past data analysis.

  • It may not be accurate result.

  • It is used in predictive modelling, forecasting, simulation and alerts.

  • It uses statistics and forecasting methods.

  • It uses a proactive approach.

  • Questions such as −

    • what would happen next?

    • what would be the outcome if the trends continue?

    • what actions need to be taken?


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