I am a data warehouse architect (DWA). My total IT experience is 11 years. I want to know if you think it would be a wise career move to learn data mining. What are the prospects of data mining? Will my market value increase? If you think it's wise, how should I begin learning it (education advice)?

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Data mining, often known as predictive analytics, is being transformed into something that is much more accessible to business users. Data mining is a fast growing part of the maturing practice of business intelligence (BI). There still exists a large need for IT to set up the models, set up the users and otherwise peruse the possibilities with the users. The barrier to entry into a data mining career is lowering and the job is changing to one that is more consultative with the business. Many of the data mining jobs will be in business areas. I think it would be a wise career move to partner the technical aspects of data mining, which can be learned through vendor courses, with industry and/or functional experience. Analytics jobs of the future will be looking for both -- a bit of specialization. On the education side, I suggest making sure you have a grounding in business intelligence before expanding the education to data mining. This will give you a firm foundation if you're going to pursue a career in data mining.

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This was first published in January 2008

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