data mining


Definition of data mining

: the practice of searching through large amounts of computerized data to find useful patterns or trends

Examples of data mining in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Complete Python Certification Bundle comes with 85 hours of instruction and covers data mining, programming, and machine learning knowledge. NBC News, "10 online courses that are professionally-minded and on sale," 29 Nov. 2019 Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm, gathered details on as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission. Washington Post, "California discloses Facebook probe, sues for documents," 6 Nov. 2019 The biggest involves the breach of Facebook users’ privacy through the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, a Facebook customer; that resulted in a record $5-billion fine imposed in July by the Federal Trade Commission. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Facebook’s bogus video claims just cost it $40 million, but they caused much more damage," 10 Oct. 2019 And then there is Palantir, which barreled into data mining and built a significant business in both the private and government sectors but whose attempts to justify a $25 billion or more valuation in public markets have not borne fruit. Wired, "Stumbles at Uber and WeWork Don't Mean the End of Tech," 3 Oct. 2019 As Sophia Ignatidou, a Catham House fellow, writes for The Guardian, baddies are ramping up their abuse of data mining to hijack minds and behaviors. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Even After Capital One’s Breach, Don’t Doubt the Cloud—Cyber Saturday," 24 Aug. 2019 The system described in the new patent would involve an even more sophisticated level of data mining. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "A Facebook patent would use your family photos to target ads," 15 Nov. 2018 The commission opened their investigation after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had gathered details on as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission. Washington Post, "The Latest: Facebook to restrict Microsoft, Sony data access," 24 July 2019 That scandal revealed that a data mining firm affiliated with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign may have improperly accessed private information from as many as 87 million Facebook users through a quiz app., "FTC to fine Facebook $5 billion over privacy violations: report," 12 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'data mining.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of data mining

1968, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about data mining

Time Traveler for data mining

Time Traveler

The first known use of data mining was in 1968

See more words from the same year

Statistics for data mining

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Data mining.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for data mining

data mining


Financial Definition of data mining

What It Is

Data mining refers to the systematic software analysis of groups of data in order to uncover previously unknown patterns and relationships.

How It Works

So called because of the manner in which it explores information, data mining is carried out by software applications which employ a variety of statistical and artificial intelligence methods to uncover hidden patterns and relationships among sets of data. For instance, a data mining program might be able to uncover a relationship between high sales volumes and poor weather conditions.

Why It Matters

Data mining software is able to perform complex calculations and analyses on sets of data in a very short time. For this reason, data mining is used by companies in strategic planning.

Source: Investing Answers

Comments on data mining

What made you want to look up data mining? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!