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Data Pre-processing for DS/ML

Data pre-processing is a crucial step in data science and machine learning to ensure that the data is in a suitable format and quality for analysis. Here is a summary of key data pre-processing techniques:


  1. Data Cleaning: This involves handling missing values, which can be imputed by methods like mean, median, or mode. Outliers, which are extreme values, can be treated by removing or transforming them. Inconsistent or incorrect data can be corrected or removed.
  2. Data Integration: Data integration combines data from multiple sources into a unified dataset. It involves resolving inconsistencies in attribute names, merging datasets based on common identifiers, and handling redundant or duplicate data.
  3. Data Transformation: Data transformation involves converting the data into a suitable format for analysis. This includes scaling numerical features, such as normalization or standardization, to bring them to a similar range. Non-linear transformations like logarithmic or power transformations can be applied to skewed data.
  4. Feature Selection: Feature selection aims to identify the most relevant and informative features for the analysis. It helps in reducing dimensionality, improving model performance, and avoiding overfitting. Techniques like statistical tests, correlation analysis, or model-based selection can be used.
  5. Feature Encoding: Categorical variables need to be encoded into numerical values for the models to process them. Common techniques include one-hot encoding, label encoding, or ordinal encoding.
  6. Feature Scaling: Scaling numerical features ensures that they are on a similar scale, preventing certain features from dominating others. Techniques like normalization (min-max scaling) or standardization (z-score scaling) can be applied.
  7. Handling Imbalanced Data: Imbalanced datasets, where one class is significantly more prevalent than others, can lead to biased models. Techniques like oversampling (e.g., SMOTE) or undersampling can be used to address class imbalance.
  8. Handling Text and Categorical Data: Text and categorical data require special treatment. Techniques like text preprocessing (tokenization, stemming, stop-word removal) and using methods like bag-of-words or TF-IDF can be applied for text data. For categorical variables, techniques like one-hot encoding or target encoding can be used.
  9. Splitting into Training and Testing Sets: The dataset is typically split into a training set and a testing set. The training set is used to train the model, while the testing set is used to evaluate its performance. Techniques like stratified sampling can be used to ensure representative samples in each set.
  10. Handling Time Series Data: Time series data requires specific handling. Techniques like resampling, differencing, or windowing can be used to capture temporal patterns and trends.


Data pre-processing aims to improve the quality, consistency, and suitability of the data for analysis and model building. Applying these techniques helps in creating reliable and robust models in data science and machine learning tasks.

data wrngling
Data processing for DS/ML – Standard

Data pre-processing is a crucial step in data science and machine learning