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A data miner is a class of database applications that discovers previously unknown relationships among data, reveals hidden data for a specific purpose or demonstrates common patterns within data sets. While data miner software is widely used within the math and science fields, it has gained widespread popularity among online marketers in the form of spyware and to gather data that will help companies increase online sales.
Data miners are software applications that collect online information for a company's benefit. Many companies mine their own data to obtain a better grasp of how it's interrelated. They use this information for company presentations, which may eventually boost financial profits within their specific industries. More often than not, data miners are implemented without a computer user's knowledge. This is the case with the spyware enlisted by electronic storefronts to analyze consumer behavior.
Spyware is uploaded onto users' computers without their consent after they click on something that triggers the automated spyware download. As they browse and search various online websites, online marketers and advertisers exploit this data by sending emails to clients containing product information based on the user's previous web searches and product interests. They may also link users to similar websites within a website they visit frequently, or remind online shoppers of their shopping history by suggesting new or similar products. Spyware can contain viruses, however, and for that reason and others, most online consumers are annoyed by these data mining techniques.