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Datathon NSI Mentors’ Guidelines – Economic Time Series Prediction


In this article the mentors give some preliminary guidelines, advice and suggestions to the participants for the case. Every mentor should write their name and chat name in the beginning of their texts, so that there are no mix-ups with the other menthors.
By rules it is essential to follow CRISP-DM methodology ( The DSS team and the industry mentors have tried to do the most work on phases “1. Business Understanding” “2. Data Understanding”, while it is expected that the teams would focus more on phases 3, 4 and 5 (“Data Preparation”, “Modeling” and “Evaluation”), while Phase “6. Deployment” mostly stays in the hand of the case providing companies.


(see the case here: )

1. Business Understanding

This initial phase focuses on understanding the project objectives and requirements from a business perspective, and then converting this knowledge into a data mining problem definition, and a preliminary plan designed to achieve the objectives. A decision model, especially one built using the Decision Model and Notation standard can be used.

The advice from mentors:



2. Data Understanding

The data understanding phase starts with an initial data collection and proceeds with activities in order to get familiar with the data, to identify data quality problems, to discover first insights into the data, or to detect interesting subsets to form hypotheses for hidden information.

The advice from mentors:



3. Data Preparation

The data preparation phase covers all activities to construct the final dataset (data that will be fed into the modeling tool(s)) from the initial raw data. Data preparation tasks are likely to be performed multiple times, and not in any prescribed order. Tasks include table, record, and attribute selection as well as transformation and cleaning of data for modeling tools.

The advice from mentors:



4. Modeling

In this phase, various modeling techniques are selected and applied, and their parameters are calibrated to optimal values. Typically, there are several techniques for the same data mining problem type. Some techniques have specific requirements on the form of data. Therefore, stepping back to the data preparation phase is often needed.

The advice from mentors:



5. Evaluation

At this stage in the project you have built a model (or models) that appears to have high quality, from a data analysis perspective. Before proceeding to final deployment of the model, it is important to more thoroughly evaluate the model, and review the steps executed to construct the model, to be certain it properly achieves the business objectives. A key objective is to determine if there is some important business issue that has not been sufficiently considered. At the end of this phase, a decision on the use of the data mining results should be reached.

The advice from mentors:



6. Deployment

Creation of the model is generally not the end of the project. Even if the purpose of the model is to increase knowledge of the data, the knowledge gained will need to be organized and presented in a way that is useful to the customer. Depending on the requirements, the deployment phase can be as simple as generating a report or as complex as implementing a repeatable data scoring (e.g. segment allocation) or data mining process. In many cases it will be the customer, not the data analyst, who will carry out the deployment steps. Even if the analyst deploys the model it is important for the customer to understand up front the actions which will need to be carried out in order to actually make use of the created models.

The advice from mentors:


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One thought on “Datathon NSI Mentors’ Guidelines – Economic Time Series Prediction

  1. 0

    Please read the case very carefully and then taka a look at the data. Try to answer some of the following questions:
    1. Do you think that some of the variables contains seasonality and if so, how to remove it from the data?
    2. What kind of additional variables could be used in the model?
    3. Should we use most recent observation with higher weights, and if so, how to do that?

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