Different Types of Data Science Problems

Let's explore the different types of problems in data science.

An overview of predictive modeling

Much of your time as a data scientist is likely to be spent wrangling data: figuring out how to get it, examining it, making sure it’s correct and complete, and joining it with other types of data. The pandas is a widely used tool for data analysis in Python, and it can facilitate the data exploration process for you, as we will see in this chapter. However, one of the key goals of this course is to start you on your journey to becoming a machine learning data scientist, for which you will need to master the art and science of predictive modeling. This means using a mathematical model, or idealized mathematical formulation, to learn relationships within the data, in the hope of making accurate and useful predictions when new data comes in.

For predictive modeling use cases, data is typically organized in a tabular structure, with features and a response variable. For example, if you want to predict the price of a house based on some characteristics about it, such as area and number of bedrooms, these attributes would be considered the features and the price of the house would be the response variable. The response variable is sometimes called the target variable or dependent variable, while the features may also be called the independent variables.

If you have a dataset of 1,000 houses including the values of these features and the prices of the houses, you can say you have 1,000 samples of labeled data, where the labels are the known values of the response variable: the prices of different houses. Most commonly, the tabular data structure is organized so that different rows are different samples, while features and the response occupy different columns, along with other metadata such as sample IDs, as shown in the table below:

Get hands-on with 1200+ tech skills courses.