Data mining and other forms of analytics have one primary goal : making invisible paterns visible. The information is in the data, but it is invisible for you if you are not a “Homo analyticus”.
Some examples :
- the most significant changes in employee’s behavior (a “hidden” pattern change) occurred one month prior to the collapse of the Enron company
- creditcard fraud detection by data mining
- unlocking patterns and structures in huge volumes of texts
- finding patterns in the phone records of 9/11 terrorists
If this seems somewhat mysterious for you there is a simple way to make this all visible. Although it is not really data mining, it is a somewhat funny way of showing what it means to see “hidden patterns made visible”