Michael Kanellos at CNET:
Rakesh Agrawal, who is credited with creating data mining, or the science of extracting trends from large and often disparate databases, has left IBM to become a Microsoft technical fellow in the company’s Search Labs.
The idea behind data mining came up during a lunchtime conversation in the early 1990s between Agrawal and an executive from the British department store chain Marks & Spencer. The store chain had been collecting all sorts of data but didn’t know what to do with it.
Agrawal and his team began devising algorithms for asking open-ended queries, eventually authoring a 1993 paper describing data mining. The paper has been cited in more than 650 other studies, making it one of the most widely cited papers of its kind.
Microsoft created Search Labs, headed by Dr. Ashok Chandra, in January along with its more publicized sibling, Live Labs.