IBM adds data mining to DB2

Continuing the trend of packing BI (business intelligence) functionality into the database, IBM is putting a piece of its Intelligent Miner data mining tool into DB2.

Intelligent Miner Scoring services now enable real-time data mining capabilities within the core database, according to Janet Perna, general manager of IBM's data management solutions, in Armonk, N.Y.

"This is where we see database technology going," she continued. "We are going to see more and more of this support inside the database."

Indeed, both Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif., and Microsoft , in Redmond, Wash., have pulled data mining and BI capabilities into their core databases.

"The database vendors are finally starting to get it and are adding functionality to help end-users use the data," said industry analyst Howard Dressner, vice president and research director at Gartner. "By putting the intelligence close to the data, users, when they interact with these engines, can get more insight out of the data."

IBM's Perna added that the Scoring services enable companies to mine data for predictive modeling, such as customer buying behavior. For instance, if a customer interacts with a call center, the software can automatically score the caller to understand the probability that he or she will buy a specific product.

Big Blue also will ship a cartridge for extending Scoring services to Oracle databases, Perna said.

Mellon Bank, in Pittsburgh, Pa., has been using Intelligent Miner for three years, as well as several other mining tools and databases from IBM and Oracle, according to Dr. Jim Delaney, vice president of strategic technology group at Mellon.

"Bringing data mining into the database eliminates the middleware functionality," he said. "It is no longer required if the database and the tools are right there."

Delaney continued that, in addition to not having to pay for and manage the middleware previously necessary, other advantages Mellon Bank has seen include predictive modeling based on PMML (Predictive Modeling Markup Language).

The Scoring services will ship in DB2 UDB at the end of this month. Intelligent Miner will still be available as a standalone product, Scoring services intact.

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