An introduction to text mining

1. What is text mining?

Text mining (also called text data mining or text analytics) is, at its simplest, a method for drawing out content based on meaning and context from a large body (or bodies) of text. Or, put another way, it is a method for gathering structured information from unstructured text.  It is via text mining tools, for example, that many spam filters detect unwanted emails from your inbox, and how companies can anticipate, rather than simply react to, their customer needs by sifting through masses of seemingly unrelated data and discovering meaningful relationships. Text mining also has significant potential for academic application and, at least when used in its basic form, benefits from being a relatively straightforward and easy tool to master.