In the previous post in our ongoing series on data mining for policy, I touched on the importance of organizational context for successful management of these projects. In today’s installment, we dig into novelty and the pressure it exerts on the budgets, timelines and expectations of the project. Novelty is an interesting beast. Alongside the excitement and exhilaration of the new comes the fear caused by venturing down unknown roads, as well as the frustration that comes from hitting a few dead ends you can’t avoid because you don’t already know the way. Below the fold, I’ll discuss how to manage novelty effectively in data mining projects for policy.