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Question from a reader --

How to jump into data mining (short version)

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Data mining (sometimes called scraping) is a mysterious technique that still hasn't caught on much in the IT world. It's kind of an art form, and if you learn it from textbooks, you won't likely find much use. That's because like just about everything, the power isn't in the technique itself, but it lies in what you do with it.

I suppose to start, I should list off a bunch of things I have done with data mining.

I've automated a business school project for a friend by getting a list of every stock's opening quote on every day in the history of the NYSE.

I've compiled medical texts into one and sorted each sentence by subject to analyze the occurance of various key words.

I've built an autoblog network that writes about the top trending news stories of the day every hour on the hour, without me having to touch it.

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