Data mining is the process of delving deep into the mass of information that's contained within a web server's log files -- both Windows log files and/or Apache log files -- to find hidden patterns in the data. Finding those patterns, and planning how to act on those patterns, means companies can plan targeted marketing efforts as a way to increase sales, improve website visibility and much more. Data mining goes beyond simple views, visits and hits and presents business owners and marketers with actionable data that can be used to help a business succeed online.
Use Web data mining to identify the origin of traffic to specific web pages and determine which marketing efforts produce the best results. For example, if you run a banner campaign that pushes visitors to a specific landing page you can see where those visitors are coming from. That information can tell you which banners, and which ad locations, are producing the best results. If you shotgun your marketing message across a number of sites, but use a query string to tell you which sites and/or campaigns you're running, use of Data Mining can tell you which query strings are the most effective and gain the most traffic.
With data mining it's possible to uncover patterns in visitor behavior. Using that information, the overall design and direction of the website can be improved to better meet the needs of visitors and customers. For example, see how much bandwidth is being used per visitor. If it's a ton, find out where the bandwidth leaks are using one or more other reports. Is it a download that's too big? Is it your graphics? A slow site with large pages that take forever to load can kill a business...
System administrators can use data mining to identify and stop possible attacks on the server. For example, use data mining to look for attempts to hack a website by exploring query items sent to specific pages of a Web site or traffic patterns from specific IP addresses.
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