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Feature Engineering for Machine Learning in Python

Create new features to improve the performance of your Machine Learning models.

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4 Hours16 Videos53 Exercises17,084 Learners
4350 XP

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Course Description

Every day you read about the amazing breakthroughs in how the newest applications of machine learning are changing the world. Often this reporting glosses over the fact that a huge amount of data munging and feature engineering must be done before any of these fancy models can be used. In this course, you will learn how to do just that. You will work with Stack Overflow Developers survey, and historic US presidential inauguration addresses, to understand how best to preprocess and engineer features from categorical, continuous, and unstructured data. This course will give you hands-on experience on how to prepare any data for your own machine learning models.

  1. 1

    Creating Features


    In this chapter, you will explore what feature engineering is and how to get started with applying it to real-world data. You will load, explore and visualize a survey response dataset, and in doing so you will learn about its underlying data types and why they have an influence on how you should engineer your features. Using the pandas package you will create new features from both categorical and continuous columns.

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    Why generate features?
    50 xp
    Getting to know your data
    100 xp
    Selecting specific data types
    100 xp
    Dealing with categorical features
    50 xp
    One-hot encoding and dummy variables
    100 xp
    Dealing with uncommon categories
    100 xp
    Numeric variables
    50 xp
    Binarizing columns
    100 xp
    Binning values
    100 xp
  2. 2

    Dealing with Messy Data

    This chapter introduces you to the reality of messy and incomplete data. You will learn how to find where your data has missing values and explore multiple approaches on how to deal with them. You will also use string manipulation techniques to deal with unwanted characters in your dataset.

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  3. 4

    Dealing with Text Data

    Finally, in this chapter, you will work with unstructured text data, understanding ways in which you can engineer columnar features out of a text corpus. You will compare how different approaches may impact how much context is being extracted from a text, and how to balance the need for context, without too many features being created.

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In the following tracks

Machine Learning Scientist


Sumedh PanchadharHillary Green-Lerman
Robert O'Callaghan Headshot

Robert O'Callaghan

Director of Data Science, Ordergroove

Rob enables retailers and brands to make themselves indispensable to their customers’ lives by anticipating purchasing needs. Throughout his career, Rob has focused on the analysis, visualization, and modeling of data to produce actionable business improvements for some of the world’s largest organizations. He has successfully designed and implemented multi-million dollar machine learning solutions within several Fortune 500 companies, focusing in particular on bleeding edge unsupervised and supervised learning techniques. He has presented his work, in the U.S. and abroad, to audiences of hundreds at financial services and AI-focused conferences.
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Lloyds Banking Group

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Harvard Business School

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