Data mining is the practice of searching through existing large sets of data to find useful patterns or trends. Data mining can generate new hypotheses or new ideas for diagnosing, preventing, or treating diseases. It can, for example, lead to predictions for individual responses to medicines, or help with the design of completely new medicines.
The pharmaceutical industry uses sophisticated computer-driven data-mining techniques in an effort to extract information from the large amounts of chemical, biological, and clinical data available.
Data can be mined from clinical trial data sets, data from biobanks, or any other data set that is accessible – for example, data sets held by public research organisations or insurance companies.