Category Portfolio Creation Guide

Time-Driven Traffic Insights: A Deep Dive into Transportation Data

Oh boy, time to dive into another crazy data science adventure! This time, we’re tackling the chaotic realm of traffic in good ol’ Washington, D.C. Brace yourself for the daily battle against bumper-to-bumper madness and the heart-stopping dance of merging lanes. As a brave commuter, I’ve had enough of this madness and I refuse to succumb to its soul-sucking ways. My mission: to outsmart the traffic gods and find that sweet spot of minimum congestion and maximum savings. Picture the infamous interchange of northbound I-95 Express Lanes and the 495 Inner Loop Express Lane as our arch-nemesis, and we, the fearless data scientists, are here to give it a taste of its own medicine. Buckle up, my friend, because this is going to be one wild ride!

Although time series analysis is a major component of this project, several opportunities exist to use multiple analytic techniques to include:

  • Spatial Analysis: This involves analyzing the spatial distribution of traffic congestion. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to visualize traffic patterns on maps and identify congestion hotspots.
  • Machine Learning: Beyond time series analysis, various machine learning techniques can be applied for traffic prediction and congestion analysis. These include regression models, clustering algorithms, and neural networks.
  • Network Analysis: This method focuses on the structure of transportation networks. It can be used to analyze road connectivity, identify bottlenecks, and optimize traffic flow.
  • Simulation Modeling: Traffic simulation models like microsimulation or agent-based modeling can be used to simulate and analyze traffic behavior under different scenarios. This is particularly useful for studying the impact of infrastructure changes.
  • Statistical Analysis: Traditional statistical methods can be employed to analyze relationships between traffic congestion and various factors such as weather, time of day, or road type.
  • Deep Learning: Deep learning techniques, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), can be applied to analyze traffic camera images or video feeds for real-time congestion detection.
  • Optimization Models: Mathematical optimization models can be used to optimize traffic signal timings, route planning, and congestion mitigation strategies.
  • Behavioral Analysis: Understanding driver behavior and decision-making processes can be crucial for predicting and managing congestion. Behavioral analysis methods, such as choice modeling, can be applied.
Step One – Select Relevant Projects

So, the first step in building my data science portfolio was to “Select Relevant Projects”, at least according to ChatGPT. After thinking about this for some time, I decided I was wasting my time trying to think of project, so back to the ChatGPT I went and provided the following prompt:

Can you suggest some relevant data science projects to start with?

The next set of answers really started to provide me with some direction. If you are not an industry expert in a particular field, it can be difficult to see the possibilities in all the data that is available out there in the world. At work, I know what data I have available to me, and I can visualize in my mind’s eye the questions my clients haven’t even thought to ask about. This way, I can proactively dig into my data and tease out details. Presenting the answers to the client before they even know to ask the question tends to make me look like a rockstar. However, coming up with practice projects and problems without being a subject matter expert tends to give me a bit of “writer’s block” so to speak. Asking for help from ChatGPT helped to refine my focus. From the list provided below, I can now take each topic and develop them into individual project to showcase my skills. These are the suggestions and explanations it provided.:

  1. Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) on a Dataset:
    Conduct a thorough analysis of a dataset, including data cleaning, visualization, and deriving meaningful insights. You can choose a dataset related to a topic of interest, such as finance, healthcare, or sports.
  2. Predictive Modeling with a Classic Dataset:
    Work with well-known datasets like the Iris dataset, Boston Housing dataset, or Titanic dataset. Build predictive models using techniques like linear regression, decision trees, or logistic regression.
  3. Natural Language Processing (NLP) Project:
    Analyze and extract insights from text data. You can start with sentiment analysis on Twitter data or build a simple chatbot using NLP libraries like NLTK or spaCy.
  4. Image Classification:
    Implement an image classification project using deep learning. The MNIST dataset for digit recognition or the CIFAR-10 dataset for object recognition are good starting points.
  5. Time Series Analysis:
    Work with time-series data to forecast trends or anomalies. You can use financial market data or weather data to build forecasting models.
  6. Customer Churn Prediction:
    Analyze customer data to predict customer churn for a business. This is a common problem in industries like telecommunications and subscription-based services.
  7. Recommendation System:
    Build a recommendation system, like the ones used by e-commerce platforms or streaming services. Collaborative filtering and content-based methods are popular approaches.
  8. Healthcare Data Analysis:
    Analyze healthcare data to identify trends, patient outcomes, or factors affecting disease prevalence. You can use datasets related to COVID-19 or electronic health records.
  9. A/B Testing:
    Design and analyze an A/B test for a hypothetical or real-world scenario. Determine the impact of changes in a website or app on user behavior.
  10. Fraud Detection:
    Build a fraud detection model using transaction data. This is valuable in the finance and e-commerce sectors.
  11. Social Media Analysis:
    Analyze social media data to gain insights into user behavior, sentiment, or trends. Use APIs to collect data from platforms like Twitter or Reddit.
  12. Geospatial Data Analysis:
    Work with geospatial data to solve location-based problems. You can analyze transportation data, plot maps, or predict real estate prices.
  13. Market Basket Analysis:
    Analyze transaction data to discover associations between products and make product recommendations.
  14. Text Generation with GANs:
    Experiment with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to generate realistic text data, such as generating paragraphs in the style of famous authors.
  15. Time Series Anomaly Detection:
    Implement anomaly detection techniques on time series data to identify unusual patterns or outliers.

Exploring the World of Data: Welcome to My Data Science Portfolio

Are you a new data professional trying to break into the data science space, or are you a presently working in the field? Although I currently work as a data professional and have a master’s degree in data analytics, sharing my work with anyone outside my current employer or clients is an industry No-No. Intellectual property and non-disclosure agreements make the lawyers frown upon such actions. The solution: “Build a data science portfolio”, they say. I wish it were that easy. No one teaches you how to do that or what a data science portfolio even means. Questions like: “Where do I start?”, or “What do I include?” may nag at you and keep you from even getting started. Just take a look at the /datascience subreddit and you will find threads like What makes a good personal project – from the perspective of a hiring manager, People who make hiring decisions: what do you want to see in a portfolio?, and How to Build a Data Science Portfolio. As you can see, I was obviously wondering the same things since I did the searches too. However, I tend to learn better by doing, so I’m planning on “winging-it,” sort of.

What do I mean by winging it, you may wonder? I’m all in favor of using the tools that are already available, so I took to ChatGPT for some guidance. My first prompt was simple: “how to build a data scientist portfolio.” True to form, ChatGPT did not disappoint, and its advice was simple and concise:

  • Select Relevant Projects
  • Clean and Document Your Code
  • Create a Portfolio Website
  • Project Descriptions
  • Include Jupyter Notebooks
  • Visualize Data Effectively
  • Highlight Your Skills
  • Include a Blog Section
  • Add a Resume or CV
  • Engage in Open-Source Contributions
  • Seek Feedback
  • Update Regularly
  • Network and Share

Consulting ChatGPT will continue throughout the processes.

To help manage the moving parts in this process, I’m relying on Atlassian’s JIRA software to build a roadmap that will not only manage the process of standing up my portfolio, but to also keep track of the progress of my individual projects.

Jira Software is the #1 agile project management tool used by teams to plan, track, release and support world-class software with confidence. 

Welcome to Jira Software | Atlassian

As for sharing my work with the world, you’re here so it must be working. As I work through the points laid out by ChatGPT above, I will document my journey and share my thoughts, successes, and frustrations here. Follow along to see the portfolio grow.