If you are looking for a simple how-to book that gives you a lot of sample source code, this is not for you. If you want to learn the concepts and theoretical underpinnings of various algorithms and techniques, this is a great place to start. The authors clearly stress the concepts of data mining that can be applied to a variety of specific applications. This is a must have volume for anyone wanting to truly understand the theories and concepts behind the various approaches to data mining and the tradeoffs involved with each approach. Those with a background in artificial intelligence will have an easier time getting through this material but such a background is not necessary to gain a solid foundation in the topics. It is well written and organized for self-study. But it may be a little intimidating for some beginners.