Data Mining Techniques for Library Professionals
Data mining or knowledge discovery refers to the process of finding information in large repositories of data. The term data mining also refers to the step in the knowledge discovery process in which special algorithms are employed in hopes of identifying interesting patterns in the data. These interesting patterns are then analyzed yielding knowledge. The desired outcome of data mining activities is to discover knowledge that is not explicit in the data, and to put that knowledge to use.
Librarians involved in digital libraries are already benefiting from data mining techniques as they explore ways to automatically classify information and explore new approaches for subject clustering. As the field grows, new applications for libraries are likely to evolve and it will be important for library administrators to have a basic understanding of the technology.
A wide variety of data mining techniques are also employed by industry and government. Many of these activities pose threats to personal privacy. As professionals ethically bound to ensure that individual privacy is safe-guarded, data mining activities should be monitored and kept on every librarian’s radar.
This paper is for Library professionals who would like a better understanding of knowledge discovery and data mining techniques. It explains the historical development of this new discipline, explains specific data mining methods, and concludes that future development should focus on developing tools and techniques.
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