IBM combines OLAP and data mining in DB2

IBM is adding basic data mining capabilities to the online analytical processing (OLAP) Server in its DB2 database.

IBM is adding basic data mining capabilities to the online analytical processing (OLAP) Server in its DB2 database.

The move should help customers identify abnormal trends in their data more quickly, according to the company.

IBM claims to be the first database vendor to combine OLAP and data mining capabilities in the same product. The company plans to roll out the data mining feature, which it calls "opportunity discovery", on 7 December.

"It's a new feature we're adding at no additional charge, but it represents a first in combining OLAP with data mining," said Jeff Jones, director of strategy for IBM's data management group.

The feature is not a substitute for Intelligent Miner, IBM's standalone data mining product, Jones said. Instead, it addresses a specific area known as "deviation detection", or the business of identifying unusual patterns in large volumes of financial, customer relationship management or other data.

The feature will be offered free of charge to existing OLAP Server customers in the form of a "fix pack" and it will be part of the server for new customers.

Oracle was quick to issue a response to the news, saying that IBM now offers data mining functionality in three separate areas. Oracle accused IBM of taking a "piecemeal" approach to information management that could confuse customers.

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