July 28th, 2008 by Mark Rittman
I’m just sitting in my hotel room in Galway, listening to the Galway Races going on down the road and working through an online demo of Oracle’s new Sales Prospector application. It’s actually quite an interesting application of Oracle’s in-database data mining technology, something that’s relevant to me as I’m putting together a section on Oracle Data Mining for the DW seminar I’m running in Denmark in September. What Sales Prospector does is take several of Oracle’s data mining algorithms and apply it to the job of identifying which products a set of customers might be interested in.
The application itself is one of the first Fusion applications and I initially saw a demo of it at Open World last year. I think it’s actually available for licensing now and is typically used on a hosted basis, with customers’ sales people uploading data to the application and the back-end system then analyzing it. Where Oracle Data Mining comes in is that it uses its algorithms to take each customer and predict which (if any) products each of them are likely to buy, generating predicted income figures and time to close based on its calculations. It then clusters the customers and their predicted product interest and value and places this on an Flash-based bubble-graph for users to interact with.
The other thing that the application does with the ODM clustering feature is to work out which other customer might provide a reference for the product that’s being predicted, based on similar attributes and predicted needs. All of this is put into a single Flash-based application that’s aimed at salespeople and account managers.
Obviously this is a fairly sales-focused application but its an interesting application of the Oracle Data Mining technologies. My understanding is that ODM is also going to be used at Oracle Open World to recommend sessions for attendees based on their profile and existing selection of sessions, as I’ll be over there it’ll be interesting to see how effective this is.