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Churn Analysis [view code]

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The code is available here or by clicking on the.

This project was done in collaboration with Corey Girard

Goals Why this is important? Importing modules and reading the data Data Handling and Feature Engineering Features and target Using `pandas-profiling` and rejecting variables with correlations above 0.9 Scaling Model Comparison Building a random forest classifier using GridSearch to optimize hyperparameters


From Wikipedia,

Churn rate is a measure of the number of individuals or items moving out of a collective group over a specific period. It is one of two primary factors that determine the steady-state level of customers a business will support [...] It is an important factor for any business with a subscriber-based service model, [such as] mobile telephone networks.

Our goal in this analysis was to predict the churn rate from a mobile phone company based on customer attributes including:

  • Area code
  • Call duration at different hours
  • Charges
  • Account length

See this website for a similar analysis.

Why this is important?

It is a well-known fact that in several businesses (particularly the ones involving subscriptions), the acquisition of new customers costs much more than the retention of existing ones. A thorough analysis of what causes churn-rates and how to predict them can be used to build efficient customer retention strategies.

Importing modules and reading the data

from sklearn.model_selection import cross_val_score, train_test_split, GridSearchCV
from sklearn.ensemble import RandomForestClassifier
import pandas as pd
import seaborn as sns
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline

Reading the data:

df = pd.read_csv("data.csv")

Data Handling and Feature Engineering

In this section the following steps are taken:

  • Conversion of strings into booleans
  • Conversion of booleans to integers
  • Converting the states column into dummy columns
  • Creation of several new features (feature engineering)

The commented code follows (most of the lines were ommited for brevity):

# convert binary strings to boolean ints
df['international_plan'] = df.international_plan.replace({'Yes': 1, 'No': 0})
#convert booleans to boolean ints
df['churn'] = df.churn.replace({True: 1, False: 0})
# handle state and area code dummies
state_dummies = pd.get_dummies(df.state)
state_dummies.columns = ['state_'+c.lower() for c in state_dummies.columns.values]
df.drop('state', axis='columns', inplace=True)
df = pd.concat([df, state_dummies], axis='columns')
area_dummies = pd.get_dummies(df.area_code)
area_dummies.columns = ['area_code_'+str(c) for c in area_dummies.columns.values]
df.drop('area_code', axis='columns', inplace=True)
df = pd.concat([df, area_dummies], axis='columns')
# feature engineering
df['total_minutes'] = df.total_day_minutes + df.total_eve_minutes + df.total_intl_minutes
df['total_calls'] = df.total_day_calls + df.total_eve_calls + df.total_intl_calls

Features and target

Defining the features matrix and the target (the churn):

X = df[[c for c in df.columns if c != 'churn']]
y = df.churn

Using pandas-profiling and rejecting variables with correlations above 0.9

The package pandas-profiling contains a method get_rejected_variables(threshold) which identifies variables with correlation higher than a threshold.

import pandas_profiling
profile = pandas_profiling.ProfileReport(X)
rejected_variables = profile.get_rejected_variables(threshold=0.9)
X = X.drop(rejected_variables,axis=1)


from sklearn.preprocessing import StandardScaler
cols = X.columns.tolist()
scaler = StandardScaler()
X[cols] = scaler.fit_transform(X[cols])
X = X[cols]

We can now build our models.

Model Comparison

We can write a for loop that does the following:

  • Iterates over a list of models, in this case GaussianNB, KNeighborsClassifier and LinearSVC
  • Trains each model using the training dataset X_train and y_train
  • Predicts the target using the test features X_test
  • Calculates the f1_score and cross-validation score
  • Build a dataframe with that information

The code will also print out the confusion matrix from which "recall" and "precision" can be calculated:

  • When a consumer churns, how often does my classifier predict that to happen. This is the "recall".
  • When the model predicts a churn, how often does that user actually churns? This is the "precision"
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = model_selection.train_test_split(X, y,
                            test_size=0.25, random_state=0)

models = [LogisticRegression, GaussianNB, 
          KNeighborsClassifier, LinearSVC]

lst = []
for model in models:
    clf = model().fit(X_train, y_train)
    y_pred = clf.predict(X_test)
    lst.append([i for i in (model.__name__, 
df = pd.DataFrame(lst, columns=['Model','f1_score'])

lst_av_cross_val_scores = []

for model in models:
    clf = model()
    cross_val_scores = (model.__name__, cross_val_score(clf, X, y, cv=5))
    av_cross_val_scores = list(cross_val_scores)[1].mean()

model_names = [model.__name__ for model in models]

df1 = pd.DataFrame(list(zip(model_names, lst_av_cross_val_scores)))
df1.columns = ['Model','Average Cross-Validation']
df_all = pd.concat([df1,df['f1_score']],axis=1) 

If we use cross-validation as our metric, we see that the KNeighborsClassifier has the best performance.

Now we will look at confusion matrices. These are obtained as follows:

models_names = ['LogisticRegression', 'GaussianNB', 'KNeighborsClassifier', 'LinearSVC']
for preds in y_pred_lst:
    print('Confusion Matrix for:',models_names[i])
    i +=1
    cm = pd.crosstab(pd.concat([X_test,y_test],axis=1)['churn'], preds, 
            rownames=['Actual Values'], colnames=['Predicted Values'])
    recall = round(cm.iloc[1,1]/(cm.iloc[1,0]+cm.iloc[1,1]),3)
    precision = round(cm.iloc[1,1]/(cm.iloc[0,1]+cm.iloc[1,1]),3)
    print('Recall for {} is:'.format(models_names[i-1]),recall)
    print('Precision for {} is:'.format(models_names[i-1]),precision,'\n')
    print('------------------------------------------------------------ \n')

The output is:

The highest recall is from GaussianNB and the highest precision from KNeighborsClassifier.

Finding best hyperparameters

As a complement let us use a Random Forest Classifier with GridSearch for hyperparameter optimization

n_estimators = list(range(20,160,10))
max_depth = list(range(2, 16, 2)) + [None]
def rfscore(X,y,test_size,n_estimators,max_depth):

    X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, 
                                                        y, test_size = test_size, random_state=42) 
    rf_params = {
             'max_depth':max_depth}   # parameters for grid search
    rf_gs = GridSearchCV(RandomForestClassifier(), rf_params, cv=5, verbose=1, n_jobs=-1),y_train) # training the random forest with all possible parameters
    max_depth_best = rf_gs.best_params_['max_depth']      # getting the best max_depth
    n_estimators_best = rf_gs.best_params_['n_estimators']  # getting the best n_estimators
    print("best max_depth:",max_depth_best)
    print("best n_estimators:",n_estimators_best)
    best_rf_gs = RandomForestClassifier(max_depth=max_depth_best,n_estimators=n_estimators_best) # instantiate the best model,y_train)  # fitting the best model
    best_rf_score = best_rf_gs.score(X_test,y_test) 
    print ("best score is:",round(best_rf_score,3))
    preds = best_rf_gs.predict(X_test)
    df_pred = pd.DataFrame(np.array(preds).reshape(len(preds),1))
    df_pred.columns = ['predictions']
    print('Features and their importance:\n')
    feature_importances = pd.Series(best_rf_gs.feature_importances_, index=X.columns).sort_values().tail(10)
    print(feature_importances.plot(kind="barh", figsize=(6,6)))
    return (df_pred,max_depth_best,n_estimators_best)

triple = rfscore(X,y,0.3,n_estimators,max_depth)
df_pred = triple[0]

The predictions are:


Cross Validation

def cv_score(X,y,cv,n_estimators,max_depth):
    rf = RandomForestClassifier(n_estimators=n_estimators_best,
    s = cross_val_score(rf, X, y, cv=cv, n_jobs=-1)
    return("{} Score is :{:0.3} ± {:0.3}".format("Random Forest", s.mean().round(3), s.std().round(3)))
dict_best = {'max_depth': triple[1], 'n_estimators': triple[2]}
n_estimators_best = dict_best['n_estimators']
max_depth_best = dict_best['max_depth']

The output is:

'Random Forest Score is :0.774 ± 0.054'

For the random forest, the recall and precision found are:

recall: 0.286
precision 0.727

Both cross-validation score and precision of our RandomForestClassifier is the highest among the five models investigated.

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