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A data mining practice in which large volumes of data are analyzed seeking any possible relationships between data. The traditional scientific method, in contrast, begins with a hypothesis and follows with an examination of the data. Data dredging often circumvents traditional data mining techniques and may lead to premature conclusions. Uncovered patterns may be presented as statistically significant without any specific hypothesis as to the underlying causality. Data dredging is sometimes described as “seeking more information from a dataset than it actually contains.” SYNONYM. Data fishing