data mining

Changing REVERSE Transformations in Oracle Data Miner

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In my previous blog post I showed you how you can have a look at the transformations that the Automatic Data Preparation (ADP) feature of Oracle Data Mining produces. I also gave some example of the different types of ADF that are performed for different algorithms.

One of the features of the transformations produced is that it will generate a REVERSE_EXPRESSION. This will take the scored results and apply the inverse of the transformation that was performed when the data was being prepared for input to the algorithm.

Somethings you may want to have the scored data returned in a slightly different ways or labeled in a slightly different way.

In this blog post I will show you how to define an alternative REVERSE_EXPRESSION for an attribute.

The function we need to use for this is the ALTER_REVERSE_EXPRESSION procedure that is part of the DBMS_DATA_MINING package.

When we score data for a typical classification problem we typically use 0 (zero) and 1 to be the target variable values. But what if we wanted the output from our classification model to label the scored data slighted differently.

In this case we can use the ALTER_REVERSE_EXPRESSION procedure to define the new values. What if we wanted the zero to be labeled as NO and the 1 as YES. In this case we can use the following.

BEGIN

    dbms_data_mining.alter_reverse_expression(

       model_name => ‘CLAS_NB_1_59’,

       expression => ‘decode(affinity_card, ”1”, ”YES”, ”NO”)’,

       attribute_name => ‘AFFINITY_CARD’);

END;

When we view the transformations for our data mining model we can now see the transformation.

Blog dat trans 3

Now when we score our data the predicted target variable will now have our newly defined values.

SELECT cust_id,

        PREDICTION(CLAS_NB_1_59 USING *) PRED

FROM mining_data_apply_v

FETHC FIRST 5 ROWS ONLY;

Blog dat trans 4

You can see that this is a very powerful feature and allows use to turn the scored data values is a different way to make them more useful. This is particularly the case as we work towards a more Automatic type of Predictive Analytics.

ODM : View Transformations generated by Automatic Data Prepreparation

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A very powerful feature of Oracle Data Mining and one that I think does not get enough notice is called Automatic Data Preparation.

Data Preparation is one of the most time consuming, repetitive and boring parts of the work that a Data Miner or Data Scientist performs as part of their daily tasks. Apart from gathering the data, integrating the data, getting the data into the required formation the most interesting part of the work is with feature engineering.

Then you have all the other boring data preparation tasks of how to handle missing data, type conversion, binning, normalization, outlier treatment etc.

With Automatic Data Preparation (ADP) in Oracle Data Mining you can let Oracle work all of these things out for you and to perform all the necessary coding and to store all of this coding as part of the in-database data mining model.

This is Fantastic. This ADP feature can same you hours and in some cases days of effort.

But (there is always a but 🙂 ) what if you are a bit unsure if the transformations that are being performed are exactly what you would wanted. Maybe you would like to see what Oracle is doing and depending on this you can do it a different way.

The first step is to examine the transformations that are generated by stored as part of the in-database data mining model. The DBMS_DATA_MINING package has a function called GET_MODEL_TRANSFORMATIONS. When you query this function, passing in the name of the data mining model, you will get returned the list of transformations that have been applied to each model.

In the following example a GLM model was created using the Oracle Data Miner tool (that is part of SQL Developer). When you use Oracle Data Miner, ADP is automatically turned on.

The following query calls the GET_MODEL_TRANSFORMATIONS function with the data mining model called CLAS_GLM_1_59/.

SELECT * FROM TABLE(DBMS_DATA_MINING.GET_MODEL_TRANSFORMATIONS(‘CLAS_GLM_1_59’));

The following image contains the output generated by this query.

Blog dat trans 1

When you look at the data under the EXPRESSION column we get to see what the ADP did to the data. In most of the cases there are just some simple data clean-up being performed and formatting for getting the data ready for input into the algorithm.

If we now look at the Naive Bayes model for the same data set we get a very different sent of transformations being listed under the EXPRESSION column.

SELECT * FROM TABLE(DBMS_DATA_MINING.GET_MODEL_TRANSFORMATIONS(‘CLAS_NB_1_59’));

Blog dat trans 2

Now we get to see some of the data binning that ADP performs and is required for input to the Naive Bayes algorithm. You will also notices that we also have some transformations in the REVERSE_EXPRESSION column. These are the inverse or reverse of the transformation that was generated in the EXPRESSION column.

I will let you explore the data transformations that are produced by ADP for the SVM and Decision Tree algorithms.

I will show you how you change the reverse expression in my next blog post, as there are times when you might want the data to be presented slightly differently after the model has been run to score your data.

To get more details of what Automatic Data Preparation is performed for each data mining algorithm you can check out this link in the 11g documentaion. This section seems to be missing from the online 12c documentation.

Automatic Analytics is So main stream. Not something new.

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Everyone is doing advanced analytics. Right? Hmm

Everyone is talking about advanced analytics? Yes that is true.

Everyone is an expert in advanced analytics? This is so not true. Watch out for these Great Pretenders. You know what I mean! You know who I mean! Maybe you know some of them already? If not, watch out for these Great Pretenders!!!

Some people are going around talking about data mining, predictive analytics, advanced analytics, machine learning etc as if this is some new topic. Well it isn’t. It isn’t anything new and most of the techniques have been about for 10, 20, 30+ years.

Some people are saying you should only use language X or tool Y because. Everything else is basically rubbish.

What we do have is a wider understanding of how to use these techniques on our various data sources.

What we have is a lot more tools that allow us to perform these tasks a lot easier, at greater speed, with more functionality and without the need to fully understand the hard core maths that is going on behind the scenes.

What we have is a lot more languages to perform these tasks and to support the vast amount of work that goes into understanding the data and preparing the data.

Someone thing for all of us to watch out for, when we ready about these topics, is what kind of problem area they are addressing. The following table illustrates the three main types or categories of Analytics. These categories are Descriptive Analytics, Predictive Analytics and Prescriptive Analytics. I think most people would agree that the Descriptive and Predictive Analytics categories are very mature at this stage. With Predictive Analytics we are perhaps still evolving in this category and a lot more work needs to be done before this this become wide spread.

Blog 1

Some people talk as if Predictive Analytics is some new and exciting topic. But isn’t all that new. It was been around for the past 30+ years. If you go back over the Gartner Hype Cycle that comes out every September, Predictive Analytics is no longer being shown on this graph. The last time it appeared on the Gartner Hype Cycle was back in 2013 and it was positioned on the far right of the graph in the section called Plateau of Productivity.

So Predictive Analytics is very mature and main stream. Part of the reason that it is main stream is that Predictive Analytics has allowed for a new category of Analytics to evolve and this is Automatic Analytics.

Automatic Analytics is where Advanced and Predictive Analytics has been build into our day to day applications that are used to run our business. We do not need the hard core type of data scientists to perform various analytic on our data. Instead these task, once they have been defined, can then be added to our applications to process, evaluate and make decisions all automatically. This is were we need the data scientists to be able to communicate with the business and be able to work with them to solve real world business projects. This is a different type of data scientist to the “hard” core data scientist who delves into the various statistical methods, machine learning methods, data management methods, etc.

The following table extends the table given above to include Automatic Analytics, and is my own take on how and where Automatic Analytics fits.

Blog 2

Every time we get an insurance quote, health insurance quote, get a “random” call from our Telco offering a free upgrade, get our loyalty card statements, get a loan from the bank, look at or buy a book on Amazon, etc. the list could go on and on, but these are all examples of how predictive analytics has been automated into our everyday business application.

But this is nothing new. When I first got into data mining/predictive analytics over 16 years ago, it was considered a common thing that certain types of companies did. What has happened in the time since and particularly in the past few years is that a lot more people are seeing the value in using it.

Before I finish off this post we can have a quick look at what Oracle has been doing in this area. They have their Advanced Analytics Option and Real-Time Decisions tools to all data scientists do their magic. But over the past X years (nobody can give me an exact number) they have been very, very active in building in lots and lots of predictive analytics into their various business applications, particularly with into with Fusion Apps and BI Apps.

Blog 3

A recent quote from Oracle highlights their aim with this,

… products designed to close the gap between data scientists and businesses.

Now with Oracle making a big push to the cloud, they are busy adding in more and more Automatic (Predictive) Analytics into their Cloud Applications. What we need from Oracle is a clearer identification of where they have done this. Plus with the migration of their Apps to the cloud, their Advanced Analytics Option is a core part of their Cloud platform. As they upgrade or add new features into their Cloud Apps, you will now be able to get the benefit of these Automatic (Predictive) Analytics as they come available.

Blog 5

Evaluating Classification Models in ODM (Part 2)

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In a previous blog post I talked about and showed some of the typical statistical methods to evaluate the classification models that you develop. Click to see this (first) blog post.

In this blog post I want to show you how you can go about evaluating your classification models that you develop using Oracle Data Miner (part of SQL Developer).

What I’m not going to show you here is how to develop classification models using Oracle Data Mining 😦 I’ve had several blog posts over the years on this topics. So you can go and search of those posts or alternately this topic is cover in a lot more detail in my Oracle Data Miner book 🙂

After you have developed your ODM models in Oracle Data Miner you have 2 levels of details available to you. The first of these is the Compare Test Results. You can find this by right clicking on the Classification node of your ODM Workflow, as showing below.

Viewing the Test Results of all ODM Models

When you select the Compare Test Results a new (worksheet) tab will open. This will display summary statistics and graphics for the summary statistics for each Oracle Data Ming model created. In the following image an ODM model was created for each In-Database Classification algorithm in the Oracle Database.

Blog odm test results 2

Here we get to see 2 of the statistical measures that I talked about in my previous blog post, the (average) Accuracy and the Overall Accuracy. We can look at and examine this in a bit more detail in a minute. A new measure that I haven’t mentioned before is the Predictive Confidence.

The Predictive Confidence measure provides an estimate of the overall goodness of the model. Predictive Confidence is a number between 0 and 1. Data Miner displays Predictive Confidence as a percent.

  • If Predictive Confidence=0, then it indicates that the predictions of the model are no better than the predictions made by using the naive model.
  • If Predictive Confidence=1, then it indicates that the predictions are perfect.
  • If Predictive Confidence=0.5, then it indicates that the model has cut the error of a naive model by 50%./li>

So the higher the value for Predictive Confidence the better the model. Particularly when it is higher than 50%.

After evaluation these summary statistical measures you will want to drill down on these to see the lower level statistical measures, for example you will want to see the confusion matrix and the corresponding statistical measures. To view the confusion matrix all you need to do is to click on the Performance Matrix tab. Before you can really start evaluating the models you will need to click on the Display drop down and select ‘Show Detail’ from the drop down list. Another thing you will need to do is to click/check the ‘Show totals and codes’ check box on the lower part of the screen. This will give you some of the statistical measures that I outlined in my previous blog post.

Blog odm test results 3

When you examine the statistical measures displayed on the screen you will notice that some of the statistical measures I outlined in my previous blog post are missing. Some of these missing measures are ones that you will want to consider and use as part of your evaluation of you ODM models.

So what how do you find out what these missing statistical measures are? Well ODM does not display these so the only real option open to you is to go and calculate them yourself 😦 This is not ideal but these are relatively easy to calculate and you can do this on a piece of paper or you can open your spreadsheet software and let it calculate them for you (once you have defined to formula for each). Here is an example of the completed/extended confusion matrix based on the results from the CLAS_SVM_1_59 model shown in the above image.

Blog odm test results 4

In my next blog post I will look at how you can evaluate a classification model that was developed using the in-database Oracle Data Mining algorithms (Oracle Data Miner GUI was not used). The evaluation criteria that I will show will be based on the statistical methods that I highlighted in my first blog post on this topic.

Evaluating Classification Results

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When you are working on building classification models you will need some ways of measuring the effectiveness of each model that you will build. This measurement/evaluation is perform during the model build process.

Typically the model build process consists of 2 steps (I’m assuming all data preparation etc has been completed:

  • Build the model: During this step you will feed in a portion of your data set to the data mining algorithm. Typical this data will be a subset of your data set and will typically consist of 60% to 70% of the data. This data is used to by the data mining algorithm to build the model.
  • Test the model: After the model has been built you will need to test the model to see how efficient it is at making the predictions. This is where we use the data that was not used to build the model. For this data we already know the outcome. So after we have applied the model to this data subset we can measure the predicted values against the actual values.

Most of the data mining tools will automate these two steps, specifically the splitting the data into the build and test data sets. But if you are using a language like R, etc then you will need to manually perform these steps.

The most common way of collating the test results is to use the Confusion Matrix. This allows us to layout the correct predictions, the incorrect predictions and to perform a number of other statistical measurements.

True Positives

True Negatives

False Positives

False Negatives

The last two of the above values are also commonly referred to in statistics as Type 1 (false positive) and Type 2 (false negative) errors.

Depending on your project you will concentrate on a combination of the true and false values of either the Positives or the negatives.

For example, in Medical Diagnostics for cancer, you will be looking to keep the False Negatives to a minimum. This is where you have predicted someone does not have cancer, but actually does. The consequence of this is that the person is not brought back for addition testing and we all know what will happen. On the other hand it is OK to have a hight False Positive in this case. In this scenario you bring the person back for additional tests and discover that they are all clear 🙂

Precision = How many of the selected items are relevant? (as a percentage)

Recall = How many of the relevant items are selected? (as a percentage)

Accuracy = How many did we correctly predict? (as a percentage)

The following table illustrates these measurements and tests.

Confusion Matrix

There are lots of other statistical tests that can be performed on your results. Everyone will have their own preferences. What I have highlighted here are the main statistical test for you to look at.

You cannot use one or a few of the statistical tests to make a decision on what data mining model works best for your data. It is a combination of these statistical test, your understanding of the data and you understanding of the business project that need to be considered.

In my next 2 blog posts I will show you how you can perform these tests on the results generated by the Oracle Data Miner tool and then on the Oracle Data Miner models produced using PL/SQL.

my Oracle Data Miner Book

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Some of you may be aware that I have been writing a on Oracle Data Miner. Actually the book covers the Oracle Data Miner GUI that is part of SQL Developer, the SQL and PL/SQL functions, procedures and packages that form the Oracle Data Mining option in the database and lots of other topics for the DBA, Developer and BI/DW people.
Today is a bit day for this book as it is officially released and available for purchase. See below for some links to where you can but the book in print and e-book formats. It has been published by McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press.
The book is aimed at a variety of people and the aim of the book is to introduce them to using the Oracle Data Miner tool and how to perform various data mining and predictive analytics tasks using SQL and PL/SQL.
The book will not teach you about how each of the data mining algorithms works. There is a bit of an assumption that you know a bit about these already. There are lots of books and resources about that cover that material. You can look on my book as an getting start / how to use type of book.
Below are are the images of the front cover and the back cover.
Book Cover            Book Back Cover
For more details of the book and for some updates keep an eye on my ODM Book page. On this page I’m adding a FAQ secion. This will be based on questions that I receive about the book.
If you buy the book then I hope you will find it helpful. If you are going to attend one of my presentations at an Oracle User Group meeting then bring the book along and I can sign it for you. Alternatively if you are at Oracle Open World 2014, come along to the Oracle Press Book Store, as I will be there to sign books on Wednesdays 1st October between 13:00 and 13:30.
Where can you Buy my Oracle Data Miner book (print and e-book).
You can buy the book from the McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press website and from Amazon. Each site will offer discounts so check out which one is the best for you.
McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press
For USA locations (enter promo code Tierney to save 20% and free delivery) www.mhprofessional.com
For UK & Ireland locations (enter promo code Tierney to save 20% and free delivery) www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/tpr
Amazon
Click here to buy it on www.amazom.com
Click here to but it on www.amazon.co.uk

Installing ORE – Part B

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This is the second part of a two part blog post on installing ORE.

In reality there are 3 blog posts on installing ORE. The third and next blog post will be on a particular issue you might encounter on a Windows server and how you can over come the issue.

In the previous blog post I outlined the steps needed to install ORE on the database server and on the client machine. Click here to go to this post.

In this blog post I will show you how to setup a schema for ORE and how to get connected to the schema using ORE.

Step 3 : Setting up your Schema to use ORE / Tasks for your DBA

On the server when you unzipped the ORE download, you will find a demo_user.bat script (something similar like demo_user.sh on Linux).

After the script has performed some checks, you will be asked do you want to create a demo schema. Enter yes for this task to be completed and the RQUSER schema will be created in your schema. Then enter the password for the RQUSER.

The RQUSER can as a small set of system privileges that allow it to connect to and perform some functions on the database. This include:

GRANT CREATE TABLE TO RQUSER;

GRANT CREATE PROCEDURE TO RQUSER;

GRANT CREATE VIEW TO RQUSER;

GRANT CREATE MINING MODEL TO RQUSER;

NOTE: If you cannot connect to the database using the RQUSER and the password you set, then you might need to also grant CONNECT and RESOURCE to it too.

For every schema that you want to access using ORE you will need to grant the above to them.

In addition to these grants, if you want a schema to be able to create and drop R scripts in the database then you will need to grant them the addition role of RQADMIN.

sqlplus / AS SYSDBA

GRANT RQADMIN to RQUSER;

NB: You will need to grant RQADMIN to an schema where you want to use the embedded ORE in the database.

Step 4 : Connecting to the Database

If you have complete all of the above steps you are now ready to use ORE to connect to your database. The following is an example of the ore.connect command that you can use. It is assuming the RQUSER has the password RQUSER, and the the host is on the local machine (localhost). Replace localhost with the host name of your database server and also change the SID to that of your database.

ore.connect(user=”rquser”, sid=”orcl”, host=”localhost”, password=”rquser”, port=1521, all=TRUE);

If you get no errors and you get the R prompt back then you are connected to the RQUSER schema in your database.

To test that the connection was made you can run the following ORE command and then list the tables in the schema.

> ore.is.connected()

[1] TRUE

> ore.ls()

character(0)

The output of the last line above tells us that we do not have any tables in our RQUSER schema. I will have more blog posts on how you can use ORE and perform various ORE analytics in future posts.

There are a series of demonstrations that come with ORE. To access these type in the following command which will list the available ORE demos.

> demo(package=”ORE”)

The following command illustrates how you can run the ORE demo called basic.

> demo(basic, package=”ORE”)

Also check out the Part C blog post on how to resolve a potential install issue on a Windows server.

Oracle Advanced Analytics and Oracle Fusion Apps

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At a recent Oracle User Group conference, I was part of a round table discussion on Apps and BI. Unfortunately most of the questions were focused on Apps and the new Fusion Applications from Oracle. I mentioned that there was data mining functionality (using the Oracle Advanced Analytics Option) built into the Fusion Apps, it seems to come as a surprise to the Apps people. They were not aware of this built in functionality and capabilities. Well Oracle Data Mining and Oracle Advanced Analytics has been built into the following Oracle Fusion Applications.

  • Oracle Fusion HCM Workforce Predictions
  • Oracle Fusion CRM Sales Prediction Engine
  • Oracle Spend Classification
  • Oracle Sales Prospector
  • Oracle Adaptive Access Manager

Oracle Data Mining and Oracle Advanced Applications are also being used in the following applications:

  • Oracle Airline Data Model
  • Oracle Communications Data Model
  • Oracle Retail Data Model
  • Oracle Security Governor for Healthcare

I intend to submit a presentation on this topic to future Oracle User Group conferences as a way of spreading the Advanced Analytics message within the Oracle user community. If you would like me to present on this topic at your conference or SIG drop me an email and we can make the necessary arrangement 🙂

Gartner 2014 Advanced Analytics Quadrant

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The Gartner 2014 Advanced Analytics Quadrant is out now. Well it is if you can find it.

Some of the companies have put it up on their websites to promote their position.

For some reason Oracle hasn’t and I wonder why?

Gartner Advanced Analytics MQ Feb2014

You can see that some typical technologies are missing from this, but this is to be expected. How much are companies really deploying these alternatives on real problems and in production. Perhaps the positioning of Revolution Analysis might be an indicator. At some point there might be a shift from investigative analysis into more main stream projects and then into production.

What is still evident from this years quadrant is that SAS and IBM (SPSS) still have very dominant positions and perhaps will have for some time to come.

It will be interesting how this will all play out over the next few years.

Predicting using ORE package

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In a previous post I gave a an overview of the various in-database data mining algorithms that you can use in your Oracle R Enterprise scripts.

To create data mining models based on those algorithms you need to use the ore.odm functions.

After you have developed and tested your models you will select one of these to score your new data.

How can you do this using ORE? There is a suite of ORE functions called ore.predict that you can use to apply your data mining model to score or label new data.

The following table lists the ore.predict functions:

table,th,td { border:1px solid black; border-collapse:collapse }

ORE Predict Function Description
ore.predict-glm Generalized linear model
ore.predict-kmeans k-Means clustering mode
ore.predict-lm Linear regression model
ore.predict-matrix A matrix with no more than 1000 rows
ore.predict-multinom Multinomial log-linear model
ore.predict-nnet Neural network models
ore.predict-ore.model An Oracle R Enterprise model
ore.predict-prcomp Principal components analysis on a matrix
ore.predict-princomp Principal components analysis on a numeric matrix
ore.predict-rpart Recursive partitioning and regression tree model

As you will see from the above table there are more ore.predict functions than there are ore.odm functions. The reason for this is that ORE comes with some additional data mining algorithms. These are in addition to the sub-set of Oracle Data Mining algorithms that it uses. These include the ore.glm, ore.lm, ore.neural and ore.stepwise.

You also need to watch out for the data mining algorithms that are not used in prediction. These include the Minimum Description Length, Apriori and Non-Negative Matrix Factorization.

Remember that these ore.predict functions are run inside the Oracle Database. No data is extracted to the data analyst laptop or desktop. All the data stays in the database. The ORE functions are run in the database on the data in the database

Using the in-database ODM algorithms in ORE

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Oracle R Enterprise is the version of R that Oracle has that runs in the database instead of on your laptop or desktop.

Oracle already has a significant number of data mining algorithms in the database. With ORE they have exposed these so that they can be easily called from your R (ORE) scripts.

To access these in-database data mining algorithms you will need to use the ore.odm package.

ORE is continually being developed with new functionality being added all the time. Over the past 2 years Oracle have released and updated version of ORE about every 6 months. ORE is generally not certified with the latest version of R. But is slightly behind but only a point or two of the current release. For example the current version of ORE 1.4 (released only last week) is certified for R version 3.0.1. But the current release of R is 3.0.3.

Will ORE work with the latest version of R? The simple answer is maybe or in theory it should, but is not certified.

Let’s get back to ore.dm. The following table maps the ore.odm functions to the in-database Oracle Data Mining functions.

ORE Function Oracle Data Mining Algorithm What Algorithm can be used for
ore.odmAI Minimum Description Length Attribute Importance
ore.odmAssocRules Apriori Association Rules
ore.odmDT Decision Tree Classification
ore.odmGLM Generalized Linear Model Classification and Regression
ore.odmKMeans k-Means Clustering
ore.odmNB Naïve Bayes Classification
ore.odmNMF Non-Negative Matrix Factorization Feature Extraction
ore.odmOC O-Cluster Clustering
ore.odmSVM Support Vector Machines Classification and Regression

table,th,td { border:1px solid black; border-collapse:collapse }

As you can see we only have a subset of the in-database Oracle Dat Miner algorithms. This is a pity really, but I’m sure as we get newer releases of ORE these will be added.

ODM: Changing the bar chart format in Explore Node

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In Oracle Data Miner you can use the Explore Node to gather an initial set of statistics for your dataset. As part of this you will also get a bar chart that shows the distributions of the values contained within each attribute. The following example shows the default layout of the bar charts. Explore1

These graphs a very useful for presenting the initial data exploration results from to your business users. In addition to these graphs you can also use the Graph node to give some additional graphical representations.

But the default bar chart that is produced by the Explore Node can appear to be a bit basic.

So what if we could change the layout to have a 3-D effect. People like 3-D bar charts.

Is this possible in Oracle Data Miner? If so then how can we do it?

Well it is possible and you can use the following steps to change your bar charts to 3-D.

To access the Explore Node settings go the the Tools menu and then select Preferences from the drop down menu.

Explore2

Then the Preferences window opens scroll down to the Data Miner option and expand the available options.

Explore3

The Explorer Data Viewer allows you to change the Precision settings. The section option is the Graphical Settings. You can change the Depth Radius setting. By default this is set to Zero. By increasing this value you can change the degree of the 3-D effect of the bar charts. You can also change the colour scheme too.

Explore4

I’m not a fan of the other colour schemes that are available and mu favourite is still the default Nautical. The following bar chart is the same as the one at the top of this post but has the 3-D effect.

Explore5