Rexer Analytics releases 2013 Data Miner Survey Summary Report

Highlights include Focus on CRM, Big Data perhaps not so big, The Ascendance of R, Challenges in the use of analytics, High Job Satisfaction, and a ranking of analytics software by several measures, including Ease-of-use and cost.

Karl Rexer, Rexer Analytics, Dec 10, 2013.

Rexer Analytics HIGHLIGHTS from the 2013 Data Miner Survey:

(Gregory Piatetsky: See also my earlier summary of Rexer Analytics 2013 Data Miner Survey Highlights, Oct 2013.)

68-item survey conducted on-line in 2013. Participants: 1,259 analytic professionals from 75 countries. This is the 6th Data Miner Survey.

In the past few years, there has been an increase among data miners in the already substantial area of customer-focused analytics. Respondents are looking for a better understanding of customers and seeking to improve the customer experience. This can be seen in their goals, analyses, big data endeavors, and in the focus of their text mining.

Many in the field are talking about the phenomena of Big Data. There are clearly some areas in which the volume and sources of data have grown. However it is unclear how much Big Data has impacted the typical data miner. While data miners believe that the size of their datasets have increased over the past year, data from previous surveys indicate that the size of datasets have been fairly consistent over time.

The proportion of data miners using R is rapidly growing, and since 2010, R has been the most-used data mining tool. While R is frequently used along with other tools, an increasing number of data miners also select R as their primary tool.

Data miners continue to report challenges at each level of the analytic process. Companies often are not using analytics to their fullest and have continuing issues in the areas of deployment and performance measurement.

The Data Miners in our survey are highly engaged with the analytic community: consuming and producing content, entering competitions and searching for education and growth within their jobs. All of these activities lead to high job satisfaction, which has been increasing over time.

Rexer Analytics 2013 Data Miner Survey - Tools Satisfaction

Data miners are a diverse group who are looking for different things from their data mining tools. Ease-of-use and cost are two distinguishing dimensions. Software packages vary in their strengths and features. STATISTICA, KNIME, SAS JMP and IBM SPSS Modeler all receive high satisfaction ratings.

OTHER FINDINGS include the labels analytic professionals use to describe themselves (Data Scientist is #1), the algorithms being used (regression, decision trees, and cluster analysis continue to be the triad of core algorithms), and computing environments (cloud computing is increasing).

Please contact us if you have any questions about the attached report or this research program. Summary reports for all 6 Data Miner Surveys are free and available by contacting

Additional information about the surveys is available at, including verbatim best practices and insights shared by respondents in previous surveys - see the Data Miner Survey links in the top right corner of our home page.

Information about Rexer Analytics and our consulting services is also available at

The Rexer Analytics Survey Team (Karl Rexer, Heather Allen, & Paul Gearan)