Feature Scaling with Alteryx and Python

Alteryx produces several solutions for data analytics. Alteryx specialises in self-service analysis with an elegant user interface. These analyses can be used as Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) methods within the Alteryx system. Products work with various data sources and conduct complex analysis, including predictive, spatial and statistical analysis.

It gives analysts the incredible opportunity to quickly schedule, blend and analyze all their data using a repeatable workflow, then deploy and exchange analytics on a scale for deeper insights in hours, not weeks. Moreover, alteryx training benefits the professionals and organizations to a great extent.

Python is an interpretive, object-oriented, high-level programming language with complex semantics. Python’s simple easy-to-learn syntax system allows and therefore reduces software maintenance costs. Python supports modules and packages that enable software modular design and reuse of code.

Python tool in Alteryx:

With the Python Tool, Alteryx can modify your data using the most common programming language-Python! The tool contains a few pre-built libraries that extend beyond even the native Python download.

This helps you to expand your data manipulation much further than one might ever have thought. The libraries built are listed here-and below, I’m going to go into a little more detail about what and why these libraries are so useful.

The libraries are:

  • ayx – Alteryx API – clearly enough, we’re using Alteryx, sooo yea, a kind of translation requirement between Alteryx and Python.
  • jupyter – Jupyter Metapackage – If you’ve used a Jupyter notebook in the past, you’ll find that the Python Tool interface is identical. This interface allows you to run parts of code outside the actual workflow, making it much easier to understand and evaluate your results.
  • matplotlib – Python plotting package – Any charting, plotting, or graphical needs that you like will be included in this package. This offers a lot of versatility to whatever you want to imagine.
  • numPy – NumPy, array processing for numbers, strings, records, and objects – Native Python handles data in what some may call a cumbersome way.
    For example, if you were to make a matrix, a.k.a. a 4×4 table, you would need to create a list in a list that can slow down a bit. However, NumPy has its own “array” form that matches the data in this matrix pattern that allows faster processing.
  • pandas – Efficient data structures for data processing, time series, and statistics – this is the starting point for data handling in Alteryx. Many who have used Python, but never pandas, will enter a beautiful new world of data handling and structure.
    Python data manipulation is quicker, simpler and easier to code with. The best part of this is that the Python Tool can interpret your Alteryx data as a pandas data frame.

Feature scaling:

Feature scaling in machine learning is among the most important steps in the pre-processing of data before building a machine learning model. Scaling could make a difference between a poor machine learning model and a stronger one. 

Normalization and standardization are the most common function scaling techniques. Normalization is used when we want to connect our values between two numbers, usually between [0,1] or [-1,1]. Although Standardization translates data into a zero mean and a variance of 1, it makes our data unified.

Where to apply feature scaling?

  • Real world dataset contains features that differ greatly in magnitudes, units, and range. Normalization should be done when the scale of a function is meaningless or deceptive and should not normalise when the scale is significant. 
  • The algorithms used by Euclidean Distance are sensitive to Magnitudes. Here the scaling function helps to measure all the features equally.
  • Explicitly, if the dataset function is high in size relative to others then in algorithms where the Euclidean distance is measured, this large-scale feature becomes dominant and needs to be normalised.

Examples of algorithms where feature scaling is applied are:

  • K-Means uses the Euclidean distance measurement here to feature scaling problems. 
  • K-Nearest-Neighbours often involve a scaling function. 
  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA): Try to get a function with maximum variance, here you need a scaling feature. 
  • Gradient Descent: Calculation speed increases as Theta’s calculation becomes faster after the scaling function.

Using python tool for feature scaling:

Suppose if you use multiple tools in your organization and they are troubling your workflows, then no need to worry. Because here comes the python tool that helps in standardizing the data without invention of the multiple tools available.

For this you need to calculate the standard deviation and python helps to make your work faster. It comes with many built in packages that makes your data calculator faster and much easier than ever before. However if you’re standardizing the data, you need to implement some machine learning algorithms.

You can easily implement your model in the python tool to scale the data. Python tool helps in scaling of your business data by eliminating some excessive processes or steps required.

Conclusion:

Feature scaling is important for machine learning algorithms which calculate discrepancies between data. Because the scope of raw data values constantly changes, in some machine learning algorithms, objective functions do not operate correctly without standardization.

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