Data collection and analysis has been performed for centuries, traditionally using the human hand and brain. As the amount of data increases in size and complexity, direct hands-on data collection and analysis is often replaced by the computer. This has led to the creation of the term “data mining”.
Data mining utilizes machine learning programs to uncover patterns, find and collect specific data from a larger data set, and analyze that data according to a certain criteria. Before data mining occurs, a separate collection step may take place where data is 'cleaned' to remove fragmented files, garbage files, duplicates, or misfiled information. Then the files are transformed into more compressed versions. Data mining programs can identify groups in the data, search for relationships, and classify new data into previous categories.
Below are some data mining tasks. See how quickly and accurately you can complete them. Can you compete with a computer?