To my knowledge, the most brilliant publicly available example of data analysis is the web account by the team of Scandinavian computer scientist that broke the "Ten Challenge Cyphers" from The Code Book .
Their step-by-step account How We Cracked the Code Book Cyphers is likely to humble almost anyone who thinks that they have an inside track when it comes to the discovery of patterns in data.
If you have a method for supervised or unsupervised learning that you think is hot, see how close your method comes to capturing any of the achievements of the Scandinavian team.
With the benefit of hindsight, you may have a chance.
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