A class of database applications that look for hidden patterns in a group of data that can be used to predict future behavior. For example, data mining software can help retail companies find customers with common interests. The term is commonly misused to describe software that presents data in new ways. True data mining software doesn't just change the presentation, but actually discovers previously unknown relationships among the data.
Data mining is popular in the science and mathematical fields but also is utilized increasingly by marketers trying to distill useful consumer data from Web sites.
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