First post! – A quick look at Clementine®

I had a chance to see a short demo of Clementine® which is a data mining tool. Not having seen data mining tools before I was curious as to just what they looked like.

There’s plenty on the web site but here’s my initial impressions.

It felt like a “meta” spreadsheet. If you’ve ever worked on a complex spreadsheet you’ll be familiar with starting with a table full of data and then using additional columns and rows to derive intermediate values before gathering them all into a final result.

Clementine lets you do this with huge data sets from a variety of sources such as databases, flat files (etc). The front-end tool lets you piece the data flow together graphically. Here’s a screen shot from their web site:

It’s as simple as dragging and dropping elements, configuring them and then connecting them together. Once you’ve cooked up your data flow you then execute it. Clementine includes modelling tools like neural nets that you train in one data flow and then apply in another.

All the real work is done on a back-end server which can run on a variety of platforms. Sadly the front-end is Windows only. As a colleague of mine commented at the time, it looks very like it’s written in Java though …

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