What is Machine Learning?

For this website, machine learning is the development and optimization of algorithms for automated or semi-automated pattern discovery.  A related term is data mining, the automated or semi-automated process of discovering patterns in data. 

The two terms are similar, and in many practical uses are identical.  The term data mining has more use among business analysts, while academic people (especially faculy who teach this topic and doctoral graduate students) prefer the term machine learning.  The focus is also somewhat different.  Data miners will look at a variety of algorithms and techniques to analyze data.  By contrast, machine learning professionals typically develop or enhance specific algorithms for general applications.  In other words, data miners focus on the data, and machine learning professionals focus on the algorithms.  To summarize, the two terms have overlap, where the variance depends on the application emphasis.

This website discusses data mining in general and SQL Server Data Mining in particular.  Many competing data mining technologies are applications, but SQL Server Data Mining is a service, one which requires a client-server relationship (though that relationship could be on a single machine).
On this website, you can find resources for data mining, including a blog.

Please use the menu system to access the resources on the website.

You may search the blog for the ten machine learning algorithms within SQL Server Analysis Services:

You can find out more about adding your integrating your own custom algorithms into SQL Server from the SQL Server Data Mining website.

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