Telstra invests in data mining software

Telstra's Forensic & Special Investigations Group (F&SIG) has invested more than a quarter of a million dollars in data mining software.

Already two months into the implementation, with completion expected within weeks, Roger Levy, Telstra group manager, F&SIG, said the division is seeing benefits including greater knowledge of marketplace and customer databases.

"We are seeing the way the company runs and we can make more informed business decisions, which transforms into efficiency in operation," Levy said.

According to Levy, the F&SIG evaluated offerings of the major competitors in the data mining space. It selected Clementine data mining software from SPSS to analyse its vast volumes of data to better understand products, customers, market patterns and a wide variety of other data mining applications.

"A critical requirement of the selection was also ease of use and we found Clementine highly intuitive, which almost understates its technical capability," he said.

"F&SIG can also incorporate its own algorithms within Clementine, which gives us greater flexibility."

Levy said the F&SIG works for all areas of Telstra, so the whole company will benefit from the implementation as well as clients.

He said the division is seeing a return on investment through productivity improvements and an ability to target aspects that need special attention.

Chris Prince, of Wave Business Solutions, an SPSS business partner which managed the F&SIG's acquisition of Clementine, said that for some time data mining has been seen as a 'black art' to find nuggets of information within vast volumes of data.

However, Prince said the trend now is for management to use it to test hypotheses and validate business decisions.

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