Tony Hey describes four paradigms for science in “The Next Scientific Revolution.” If you are currently using simulation to solve problems, you might consider using data mining to look for relationships and discover the rules by studying the data.
My first job out of college was working at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; we were collecting data to forecast weather events. I worked for Jerome Namias, who figured out how the El Niño phenomena in the Pacific Ocean affected world climate. Our data was sparse and our simulation techniques primitive.
Today’s Ocean Observatories Initiative will map out a network of interactive nodes throughout the Northern Pacific Ocean to study interrelated ocean processes across time. With such a vast amount of data, scientists can use data mining rather than simulation to discover predictive relationships. Amazing progress.
Can your business’s simulation tool be replaced by a data mining tool? Consider the business opportunities.