Good analysts are like sculptors. They can look at a data set and see underlying form and structure. Data mining tools can function as the chisels and hammer, allowing the analysts to expose the hidden patterns and reveal meaning in a data set so that others can enjoy its composition and beauty.

Whether it is called data mining, predictive analytics, sense making, or knowledge discovery, the rapid development and increased availability of advanced computational techniques have changed our world in many ways. There are very few, if any, electronic transactions that are not monitored, collected, aggregated, analyzed, and modeled. Data are collected about everything, from our financial activities to our shopping habits. Even casino ...

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