There is a general agreement that the development of metabolomics depends not only on advances in chemical analysis techniques but also on advances in computing and data analysis methods. Metabolomics data usually requires intensive pre-processing, analysis, and mining procedures. Selecting and applying such procedures requires attention to issues including justification, traceability, and reproducibility. We describe a strategy for selecting data mining techniques which takes into consideration the goals of data mining techniques on the one hand, and the goals of metabolomics investigations and the nature of the data on the other. The strategy aims to ensure the validity and soundness of results and promote the achievement of the investigation goals.