Practical Predictive Analytics: Models and Methods

Start Date: 11/05/2018

Course Type: Common Course

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About Course

Statistical experiment design and analytics are at the heart of data science. In this course you will design statistical experiments and analyze the results using modern methods. You will also explore the common pitfalls in interpreting statistical arguments, especially those associated with big data. Collectively, this course will help you internalize a core set of practical and effective machine learning methods and concepts, and apply them to solve some real world problems. Learning Goals: After completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Design effective experiments and analyze the results 2. Use resampling methods to make clear and bulletproof statistical arguments without invoking esoteric notation 3. Explain and apply a core set of classification methods of increasing complexity (rules, trees, random forests), and associated optimization methods (gradient descent and variants) 4. Explain and apply a set of unsupervised learning concepts and methods 5. Describe the common idioms of large-scale graph analytics, including structural query, traversals and recursive queries, PageRank, and community detection

Course Syllabus

Learn the basics of statistical inference, comparing classical methods with resampling methods that allow you to use a simple program to make a rigorous statistical argument. Motivate your study with current topics at the foundations of science: publication bias and reproducibility.

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Course Introduction

Statistical experiment design and analytics are at the heart of data science. In this course you wi

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Predictive analytics Regression models are the mainstay of predictive analytics. The focus lies on establishing a mathematical equation as a model to represent the interactions between the different variables in consideration. Depending on the situation, there are a wide variety of models that can be applied while performing predictive analytics. Some of them are briefly discussed below.
Predictive analytics A brief discussion of some of these methods used commonly for predictive analytics is provided below. A detailed study of machine learning can be found in Mitchell (1997).
Predictive buying Predictive Buying is the name of the industry dedicated to algorithmic consumer analytics yielding future buying patterns. The primary nature of data mining, analysis and extrapolation have their roots in game theory, rule of inference and regression models. Predictive Buying is an integration of predictive analytics and the methods of permission marketing.
Predictive analytics Although predictive analytics can be put to use in many applications, we outline a few examples where predictive analytics has shown positive impact in recent years.
Predictive analytics Generally, the term predictive analytics is used to mean predictive modeling, "scoring" data with predictive models, and forecasting. However, people are increasingly using the term to refer to related analytical disciplines, such as descriptive modeling and decision modeling or optimization. These disciplines also involve rigorous data analysis, and are widely used in business for segmentation and decision making, but have different purposes and the statistical techniques underlying them vary.
Predictive analytics Predictive analytics is often defined as predicting at a more detailed level of granularity, i.e., generating predictive scores (probabilities) for each individual organizational element. This distinguishes it from forecasting. For example, "Predictive analytics—Technology that learns from experience (data) to predict the future behavior of individuals in order to drive better decisions." In future industrial systems, the value of predictive analytics will be to predict and prevent potential issues to achieve near-zero break-down and further be integrated into prescriptive analytics for decision optimization. Furthermore, the converted data can be used for closed-loop product life cycle improvement which is the vision of the Industrial Internet Consortium.
Predictive analytics The most popular commercial predictive analytics software packages according to the Rexer Analytics Survey for 2013 are IBM SPSS Modeler, SAS Enterprise Miner, and Dell Statistica.
Predictive analytics The approaches and techniques used to conduct predictive analytics can broadly be grouped into regression techniques and machine learning techniques.
Predictive analytics Thanks to technological advances in computer hardware—faster CPUs, cheaper memory, and MPP architectures—and new technologies such as Hadoop, MapReduce, and in-database and text analytics for processing big data, it is now feasible to collect, analyze, and mine massive amounts of structured and unstructured data for new insights. It is also possible to run predictive algorithms on streaming data. Today, exploring big data and using predictive analytics is within reach of more organizations than ever before and new methods that are capable for handling such datasets are proposed.
Predictive analytics Historically, using predictive analytics tools—as well as understanding the results they delivered—required advanced skills. However, modern predictive analytics tools are no longer restricted to IT specialists. As more organizations adopt predictive analytics into decision-making processes and integrate it into their operations, they are creating a shift in the market toward business users as the primary consumers of the information. Business users want tools they can use on their own. Vendors are responding by creating new software that removes the mathematical complexity, provides user-friendly graphic interfaces and/or builds in short cuts that can, for example, recognize the kind of data available and suggest an appropriate predictive model. Predictive analytics tools have become sophisticated enough to adequately present and dissect data problems, so that any data-savvy information worker can utilize them to analyze data and retrieve meaningful, useful results. For example, modern tools present findings using simple charts, graphs, and scores that indicate the likelihood of possible outcomes.
Predictive analytics A very popular method for predictive analytics is Leo Breiman's random forests.
Predictive analytics Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from predictive modeling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events.
Predictive analytics The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States also uses predictive analytics to mine tax returns and identify tax fraud.
Predictive analytics Predictive analytics is used in actuarial science, marketing, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, retail, travel, healthcare, child protection, pharmaceuticals, capacity planning and other fields.
Analytics Organizations may apply analytics to business data to describe, predict, and improve business performance. Specifically, areas within analytics include predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, enterprise decision management, retail analytics, store assortment and stock-keeping unit optimization, marketing optimization and marketing mix modeling, web analytics, sales force sizing and optimization, price and promotion modeling, predictive science, credit risk analysis, and fraud analytics. Since analytics can require extensive computation (see big data), the algorithms and software used for analytics harness the most current methods in computer science, statistics, and mathematics.
Predictive analytics When marketing consumer products and services, there is the challenge of keeping up with competing products and consumer behavior. Apart from identifying prospects, predictive analytics can also help to identify the most effective combination of product versions, marketing material, communication channels and timing that should be used to target a given consumer. The goal of predictive analytics is typically to lower the cost per order or cost per action.
Predictive analytics The Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) was proposed for standard language for expressing predictive models. Such an XML-based language provides a way for the different tools to define predictive models and to share them. PMML 4.0 was released in June, 2009.
Predictive analytics Many businesses have to account for risk exposure due to their different services and determine the cost needed to cover the risk. For example, auto insurance providers need to accurately determine the amount of premium to charge to cover each automobile and driver. A financial company needs to assess a borrower's potential and ability to pay before granting a loan. For a health insurance provider, predictive analytics can analyze a few years of past medical claims data, as well as lab, pharmacy and other records where available, to predict how expensive an enrollee is likely to be in the future. Predictive analytics can help underwrite these quantities by predicting the chances of illness, default, bankruptcy, etc. Predictive analytics can streamline the process of customer acquisition by predicting the future risk behavior of a customer using application level data. Predictive analytics in the form of credit scores have reduced the amount of time it takes for loan approvals, especially in the mortgage market where lending decisions are now made in a matter of hours rather than days or even weeks. Proper predictive analytics can lead to proper pricing decisions, which can help mitigate future risk of default.
Predictive analytics Predictive analytics is an area of statistics that deals with extracting information from data and using it to predict trends and behavior patterns. Often the unknown event of interest is in the future, but predictive analytics can be applied to any type of unknown whether it be in the past, present or future. For example, identifying suspects after a crime has been committed, or credit card fraud as it occurs. The core of predictive analytics relies on capturing relationships between explanatory variables and the predicted variables from past occurrences, and exploiting them to predict the unknown outcome. It is important to note, however, that the accuracy and usability of results will depend greatly on the level of data analysis and the quality of assumptions.
Predictive analytics Descriptive models quantify relationships in data in a way that is often used to classify customers or prospects into groups. Unlike predictive models that focus on predicting a single customer behavior (such as credit risk), descriptive models identify many different relationships between customers or products. Descriptive models do not rank-order customers by their likelihood of taking a particular action the way predictive models do. Instead, descriptive models can be used, for example, to categorize customers by their product preferences and life stage. Descriptive modeling tools can be utilized to develop further models that can simulate large number of individualized agents and make predictions.