Data mining allows people to locate and interpret patterns inside data, helping them make more informed decisions and better serve their customers. That being said, there are also concerns about the practice of data mining with privacy watchdog groups in particular being vocal about organizations that amass vast quantities of data, some of which can be very personal in nature.

Data mining as a discipline is largely transparent to the world. Most of the time, we never even notice that it’s happening. But whenever we sign up for a grocery store shopping card, place a purchase using a credit card, or surf the Web, we are creating data. These data are stored in large sets on powerful computers owned by the companies we deal with every day. Lying within those data sets are patterns indicators of our interests, our habits, and our behaviors.

RapidMiner has made available a free ebook called Data Mining for the Masses to introduce the concepts and practices common in data mining.