Today, as in other areas of society, information technology and communications have entered the field of education. It is possible to capture and compile very simply and at low cost all kinds of information: administrative data enrollment in schools, colleges or universities, computerized academic records of students, logging in educational portals (e-learning platforms ), collaborative learning systems guided by the computer (computer-supported collaborative learning systems, etc.).
Educational data mining (Educational Data Mining, EDM) is the process of transforming raw data collected by national education systems into useful information that can be used to make informed decisions and answer research questions [Cecily Heiner, Ryan Baker and Kalina Yacef, Proceedings of the Workshop on Educational Data Mining at the 8th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS 2006). Jhongli, Taiwan].
In short, EDM is simply the application of data mining in the area of education, in order to gain a better understanding of the learning process of students and their overall involvement in the process, aimed at improving quality and profitability of the educational system. Also available are educational programs at universities for gaining business intelligence certification. These courses concentrate on using available technology to compliment business and educational programs.
In EDM can identify three types of objectives: educational objectives (assistance in the design of educational content, improvements in student academic performance), management objectives (optimizing the organization and maintenance of education infrastructure, areas of interest, more courses requested) and commercial objectives (market segmentation allows and facilitates the capture of pupils, particularly important in the case of private education).
EDM is an emerging discipline at the intersection of data mining and pedagogy. On the one hand, pedagogy provides the intrinsic knowledge of the learning process. Furthermore, data mining techniques provides modeling and analysis of information. EDM, like data mining itself, this is a technology that integrates multidisciplinary techniques, information retrieval from the database using simple SQL queries to use machine learning algorithms from the field of artificial intelligence. Among the most common techniques in education are the automatic grouping (clustering) and analysis of partnerships and common patterns in sequences.