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Rexer Analytics' 5th Annual Data Miner Survey Summary

Thank you for your interest in the Annual Rexer Analytics Data Miner Surveys.  It is our pleasure to share the attached 5th Annual Data Miner Survey summary report with you.
HIGHLIGHTS from the 5th Annual Data Miner Survey (2011):
• SURVEY & PARTICIPANTS:  52-item survey of data miners, conducted on-line in 2011.  Participants: 1,319 data miners from over 60 countries.
• FIELDS & GOALS:  Data miners work in a diverse set of fields.  CRM/Marketing has been the #1 field for the past five years.  Fittingly, “improving the understanding of customers”, “retaining customers” and other CRM goals continue to be the goals identified by the most data miners.
• ALGORITHMS:  Decision trees, regression, and cluster analysis continue to form a triad of core algorithms for most data miners.  However, a wide variety of algorithms are being used.  A third of data miners currently use text mining and another third plan to do so in the future.
• TOOLS:  R continued its rise this year and is now being used by close to half of all data miners (47%).  R users report preferring it for being free, open source, and having a wide variety of algorithms.  Many people also cited R's flexibility and the strength of the user community.  STATISTICA is selected as the primary data mining tool by the most respondents (17%).  Data miners report using an average of 4 software tools. STATISTICA, KNIME, Rapid Miner and Salford Systems received the strongest satisfaction ratings in 2011.
• ANALYTIC CAPABILITY AND SUCCESS MEASUREMENT:  Only 12% of corporate respondents rate their company as having very high analytic sophistication.  However, companies with better analytic capabilities are outperforming their peers.  Respondents report analyzing analytic success via Return on Investment (ROI) and analyzing the predictive validity or accuracy of their models.  Challenges to measuring success include client or user cooperation and data availability/quality.
• SHARED INSIGHTS:  In the 2010 Survey data miners shared best practices in overcoming the key challenges data miners face (verbatims:  In the 2011 Survey data miners shared their best practices for measuring analytic success ( and examples of the positive impact that data mining can have to benefit society, health, and the world (  Additionally, 225 R users shared information about how and why they are using R (verbatims:
Please contact us if you have any questions about the attached report or this research program.  After the 2011 survey, we have moved to a bi-annual schedule; the next Data Miner Survey will be launched in early 2013.
Information about Rexer Analytics is available at
-- The Rexer Analytics Survey Team (Karl Rexer, Heather Allen, & Paul Gearan)
Karl Rexer, PhD
President, Rexer Analytics

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