Many people don’t give due attention to feature engineering, but those who know the worth of feature engineering for machine learning give it special attention. It is because they know feature engineering (if executed properly) will increase manifold the efficiency of machine learning models and generate accurate results.
Feature engineering is a process that can make or break the efficiency of predictive algorithms. Therefore, businesses around the world, including healthcare and e-commerce, are trying to seek new ways to take full advantage of these AI and machine learning services and stay competitive in their relevant industries.
They understand quite well that the future of the world is AI, and artificial intelligence is only a transformative force that can help them shine with full potential in their industries.
So, in this article, we have demystified the world of feature engineering—its benefits, importance, working, examples, features, and techniques. Moreover, you will come to know why your business needs to get AI and ML services as soon as possible to stay strong amid the sweeping tide of the global AI revolution.
This Shocking Number Fuels the Need for Feature Engineering
Before we get into the details of feature engineering, let’s paint a clear picture with some shocking numbers. Did you know that a data scientist spends about 80% of their time on data preparation? And feature engineering is an important element of the data preparation process.
This number shows how important feature engineering is in the world of Artificial intelligence. A recent study also shows that companies that used AI and ML services witnessed their sales go up by a huge 41%.
So, these shocking numbers not only show how important feature engineering is, but also highlight the unprecedented potential of both AI and ML technologies.
Understanding Feature Engineering: The Cornerstone of ML Success
Feature engineering is the science of transforming raw data into meaningful features that effectively represent the hidden patterns and connections or relationships in the data.
In other words, feature engineering is the process of choosing, extracting, and modifying the most important features from the available data. It aims to make machine learning models that are more accurate and efficient.
Feature engineering in machine learning includes four steps:
- Feature creation
- Feature selection
Benefits and Importance of Feature Engineering in Machine Learning
Feature engineering is an important supporting part of machine learning. It acts as the bridge between the raw data and the algorithms as it designs artificial features into algorithms. Afterward, algorithms use these features to improve their performance and produce accurate results.
Following are some major benefits of feature engineering for machine learning:
Better model performance: Well-designed features give models the information they need to make correct predictions. It improves their reliability and performance.
Reduced overfitting: Overfitting can be stopped with carefully designed features. Overfitting is when a model learns the training data too well but can’t apply what it knows to new data.
Faster training and inference: By focusing on important traits, the amount of work that needs to be done is lessened. This process speeds up training and makes predictions faster.
Interpretability: Carefully designed features make it easier to interpret how the model makes decisions. These features build trust and make the machine learning models easier to understand.
Features of Effective Feature Engineering
Here are a few important features of effective feature engineering in machine learning:
Domain knowledge: To find the parts of the problem that capture its underlying dynamics, you need a deep understanding of the topic.
Creativity: Feature engineering builds the capability to think creatively. It is a feature engineering that uncovers patterns that might not be immediately apparent in the raw data.
Dimensionality reduction: Feature selection or extraction reduces data dimensionality to optimize model performance and computation.
Techniques of Feature Engineering: Here’s the Toolbox
There are multiple feature engineering techniques that you use in machine learning. But as far as we have experienced, the following techniques serve the purpose the best.
One-hot encoding: Changing categorical factors into binary vectors makes sure that they can be used with ML algorithms.
Normalization and scaling: Standardizing features to bring them to a common scale. It stops some features from dominating the learning process.
Feature extraction: Using methods like Principal Component Analysis (PCA) or t-SNE, you can transform complex data into simple representations.
Interaction features: Combining current features to make new ones that capture synergies and relationships to improve model performance.
Examples of Feature Engineering in Machine Learning
There are many applications of feature engineering, but we have included two examples to help you understand how feature engineering aids machine learning.
Predictive healthcare analytics: Personalized patient care is the goal of artificial intelligence in healthcare. It is a feature engineering that supports this goal.
Let’s suppose a hospital needs to predict the readmission risk for heart failure patients. Now, that hospital wants to know about the patient’s demographics and medical history to make personalized decisions and interventions so that they can reduce readmission rates and improve the patient’s health.
Here comes the role of feature engineering. It will help the hospital know the data it needs to make personalized treatment decisions. Feature engineering will help hospitals find out the previous hospitalizations of the patient, their average length of stay, and their medication adherence rates.
E-commerce customer personalization: In e-commerce, the businesses that properly understand customer behavior win the e-commerce game.
Again, this is where feature engineering comes in. Feature engineering helps brands learn about customers’ past purchases, how they act, what they like, and everything else about them.
After that, it helps make features that focus on the customer and suggest personalized goods to customers based on their data. Once brands show customers what they want, they start to get more customer interaction and conversion rates.
Have You Tried this Incredible Feature Engineering Process? If Not, Start it Right Now!
Imagine your healthcare institution seamlessly predicting patient outcomes to provide personalized care.
And if you run an e-commerce brand, imagine your online stores anticipating customer preferences with uncanny accuracy.
This can all be a reality if you carefully perform feature engineering in machine learning. The world is changing very fast. AI is dominating businesses and even households.
So, instead of criticizing AI and ultimately shutting down your business due to its non-stoppable effects, add AI technologies to your business and run it with confidence.
Don’t wait another day! Start reaping the benefits of machine learning software development with feature engineering!