What is Data Mining? Computers Prevent Information Overload

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The tiny bits of data can cause information overload without the help of a computer program and data mining. Image by gerard79

The tiny bits of data can cause information overload without the help of a computer program and data mining. Image by gerard79

Science Benefits from Data Mining Analysis

From the use of image-evaluation software to scan the Earth via satellite to using an artificial neural network to analyze potential dig sites, data mining benefits a number of different scientific disciplines. Software can quickly scan satellite images, looking for particular markers that show bomb damage, fires, and other indicators of environmental or societal stress. Archaeologists can use topological scans to check for the markers of subterranean structures, such as the ancient Egyptian city Tanis. In both cases, science benefits through the application of this technology.

Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

More information isn’t always a good thing – you may find yourself buried in data if you don’t have a method of sorting the numbers and giving priority to the important information. Predictive analytics analyze information to predict an outcome – from where a shopper will start putting items in his or her cart to where a burial site might be, or even whether this year’s flu season is tapering off or ramping up. Data mining technology becomes more sophisticated every year, and like the data, the possibilities are virtually endless. 

Resources

Madrigal, A. If It Wasn’t the Pregnancy Tests, Why *Did* Baby Catalogs Start Arriving at Our House? (2013). The Atlantic. Accessed April 22, 2013.

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