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Dr. Matthew North Data mining as a discipline is largely transparent to the world. Most of the time, we never even notice that itΓÇÖs 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 patternsΓÇöindicators of our interests, our habits, and our behaviors. Data mining allows people to locate and interpret those patterns, helping them make better informed decisions and better serve their customers. That being said, there are also concerns about the practice of data mining. Privacy watchdog groups in particular are vocal about organizations that amass vast quantities of data, some of which can be very personal in nature.