Interesting look at the effect of data mining in education (8 page PDF). The author makes the point that research based in data mining works quite differently from traditional research. I quote:
- Data mining eschews the hypothetico-deductive process, relying instead on a strictly inductive process in which the model is developed a posteriori from the data itself.
- Data mining relies heavily on machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches, taking advantage of vastly increased computing power to use brute-force methods to evaluate possible solutions.
- Data mining characterizes specific cases, generating a predicted value or classification of each case without regard to the utility of the model for understanding the underlying structure of the data.
- Data mining aims strictly at identifying previously unseen data relationships rather than ascribing causality to variables in those relationships.
The author surveys the ethical implications of this. More...