ERCIM News No.24 - January 1996 - CWI

Data Distilleries - putting Data Mining Technology to Practice

by Marcel Holsheimer

Data Distilleries is the first company whose core business is the development of data mining software. Data mining is an analysis technique, used to discover hidden strategic information in very large databases. This is information that cannot easily be revealed using conventional analysis techniques, such as statistical tools. Data Distilleries (DD) offers advanced data mining tools, but also consultancy and training to enable users to get the most out of these tools.

One of the products of DD is `Data Surveyor'. This is an advanced data mining tool that enables the users to search their own databases, and present the discovered information in an easy to understand, graphical format. Data Surveyor can be coupled with the user's databases.

Dutch banks and insurance companies use DD's expertise and techniques to discover risk profiles in their customer databases. Or they use data mining techniques to select the most interesting customers for direct marketing purposes. DD uses these techniques for many other purposes as well, such as determining which combinations of machine and environmental factors cause faulty products in a mass production process.

DD was founded in September as a spin off of CWI, the Dutch research centre for mathematics and computer science. CWI is one of the leading European institutes in the area of data mining and has extensive experience in the development of data mining tools and their application to real-world problems.

Being the project leader of the EC funded KESO project (Knowledge Extraction for the Statistical Offices), DD has intimate relations with other top European institutes, such as the University of Helsinki and GMD in Germany.

The goal of the KESO project is to produce a prototype data mining system that solves the needs of the analysts of statistical datasets. The project results will be exploited in products and used to increase awareness of this technology in Europe.

The technology will be developed and marketed by Data Distilleries. Other partners are Statistical Offices, the National Statistical Institutes CBS (NL), FinStat (SF), FORTH-EYSE (GR) and the commercial statistical data provider Infratest (D). These partners will apply the technology in several areas, such as unemployement, international trade, and health systems, to assess and guide the development of the data mining system.

More information on DD can be found on the internet:

Please contact:
Marcel Holsheimer - Data Distilleries
Tel: +31 20 560 8433

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