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DMA 2016 Analytics Challenge

Top 5 Solution

Together, Josh Jacquet and Will Johnson, developed a two-layer model approach and placed in the top 5 of the DMA's annual Analytics Challenge. The source uploaded includes data exploration, data visualization, exploratory models, hyperparameter analysis, parallel processing, and finally model combinations.

DMA Analytics Challenge Prompt

Welcome to the 2016 DMA Analytic Challenge sponsored by EY. We are glad you have decided to participate. Below is various information you will need to develop and submit your solution.

1. Business Overview:

Company A is one of the world’s largest players in the online peer­to­peer lending business which has been instrumental in transforming the consumer and small business credit marketplace. The business model is as follows: the borrowers get access to lower interest rate loans through a fast and easy online or mobile interface, and investors provide the capital to enable many of the loans in exchange for earning interest. Since Company A uses little or no branch infrastructure, they can transfer the cost savings to the borrowers in form of lower interest rates and get attractive returns for the investors.

Company A is planning to use data analytics by leveraging the information on the existing loans that were extended to various consumers and small business and identifying the characteristics associated with the most highly profitable customers. For this purpose of this exercise, Company A has provided data on 768K loans that were issued in the past and the associated information captured, including:

  • Customer attributes at the time of application
  • Information around loan performance (last payment, outstanding balance, interest rate, etc.)
  • Loan status (Current, Delinquent, Charged off, etc.)
  • Some bureau attributes that were captured from the bureau data (past trade line information, etc.)

For Company A to increase its return on investments on a marketing campaign, it is important to understand the attributes that can help identify the most profitable customers in order to improve its solicitation as well as underwriting processes for new loans. From an analytical standpoint, there are 2 key aspects to an effective marketing campaign; a solicitation response model that helps to increase the acquisition rate and a high value customer identification model that helps the company get higher lifetime value from their customers. The focus of this problem is towards identifying the attributes of high value customers which can then be supplemented with a response rate model to enhance the ROI for a marketing investment.

2. Analytics Challenge:

The dataset for training the model would consist of approx. 768K loans which the participants would use to build their model to predict the estimated profitability of the loans. This consists of loans that existed on Company A’s books as of a point in time and has loans that are currently performing (i.e. in repayment), historically paid off and historically charged off loans. The target variable for the participants is the $ profitability associated with a loan, which is defined as the gross $ value margin that was made on that loan.

Subsequently, the validation dataset would have approx. 85K loans for which the participants will have to generate the prediction of the profitability for. The final evaluation for the competition will be defined by the Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) of the predicted profitability values.

3. Datasets:

Go to the following link to retrieve the modeling data sets, data dictionary and an example version of the submission:

Desc URL
Training dataset
Test dataset
Data Dictionary

4. Data FAQs:

What is the size of the dataset?

  • The training dataset has in total 768,168 rows and 44 columns.
  • The validation dataset has in total 84,910 rows and 42 columns.

What do negative values mean for profitability?

  • The profitability $ amount takes negative value if the loans were charged off and positive value if it was paid in full OR was charged off after the payments made exceeded the principal amount.

Are there any data quality issues in the dataset?

  • In case of any data quality issues please use your best judgment for treatment and interpretation of such values

What does each column represent?

  • Refer to the data dictionary for description on all the variables

What is inside the training dataset?

  • The training dataset has information on current loans on book, paid off loans and some charged off loans.

Does the test data include only active loans?

  • The test dataset has information on paid off and charged off loans where the final profitability was realized


Top 5 Winner of DMA 2016 Analytics Challenge






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