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Machine Learning Is Not Magic: A Closer Look at the Learning Aspect of ML

This piece is the latest in a series, called “Machine Learning Is Not Magic,” covering how to get started in machine learning, using familiar tools such as Excel, Python, Jupyter Notebooks and cloud services from Azure and Amazon Web Services. Check back here each Friday for future installments. 

When you are getting started with machine learning algorithms, it’s a great idea to learn the formula through Excel. It will give you a thorough understanding of the concept behind the algorithm. But to evolve repeatable Machine Learning models that work with new data points, we have to use mature frameworks and tools. Once you get familiar with the concepts, you can start utilizing higher level libraries like NumPy and Scikit-learn in Python. In the upcoming parts of this tutorial, I will walk you through the process of configuring and using Python with the same use case based on Stack Overflow salary calculator.

In the last installment of this tutorial, I introduced the concept of linear regression through Microsoft Excel. We used the LINEST function to validate our assumptions, and also used it to predict salary for values falling outside of the limits of the original dataset.

In this part, we will understand how to streamline linear regression for accuracy and precision. In that process, we will explore the “learning” component of machine learning.

Now that we have the basic understanding of Linear Regression, let’s take a closer look at the learning part of Machine Learning.

If a tool like Microsoft Excel can do ML, what’s all the hype and buzz about? If ML is just about applying the right algorithm to data, where is the learning and training aspect? Let’s try to get an answer for that.

Remember, when compared to the actual salary, our prediction was plus or minus $100. Though this may not matter much in simple scenarios, the difference can vary widely in complex datasets making the predictions inaccurate and almost useless.

Read the entire article at The New Stack

Janakiram MSV is an analyst, advisor, and architect. Follow him on Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.

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More Stories By Janakiram MSV

Janakiram MSV heads the Cloud Infrastructure Services at Aditi Technologies. He was the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. In his current role, he leads a highly talented engineering team that focuses on migrating and managing applications deployed on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.
Janakiram is an industry analyst with deep understanding of Cloud services. Through his speaking, writing and analysis, he helps businesses take advantage of the emerging technologies. He leverages his experience of engaging with the industry in developing informative and practical research, analysis and authoritative content to inform, influence and guide decision makers. He analyzes market trends, new products / features, announcements, industry happenings and the impact of executive transitions.
Janakiram is one of the first few Microsoft Certified Professionals on Windows Azure in India. Demystifying The Cloud, an eBook authored by Janakiram is downloaded more than 100,000 times within the first few months. He is the Chief Editor of a popular portal on Cloud called www.CloudStory.in that covers the latest trends in Cloud Computing. Janakiram is an analyst with the GigaOM Pro analyst network where he analyzes the Cloud Services landscape. He is a guest faculty at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) where he teaches Big Data and Cloud Computing to students enrolled for the Masters course. As a passionate speaker, he has chaired the Cloud Computing track at premier events in India.
He has been the keynote speaker at many premier conferences, and his seminars are attended by thousands of architects, developers and IT professionals. His sessions are rated among the best in every conference he participates.
Janakiram has worked at the world-class product companies including Microsoft Corporation, Amazon Web Services and Alcatel-Lucent. Joining as the first employee of Amazon Web Services in India, he was the AWS Technology Evangelist. Prior to that, Janakiram spent 10 years at Microsoft Corporation where he was involved in selling, marketing and evangelizing the Microsoft Application Platform and Tools.

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