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Customer profiles are by definition made up of factual and transactional data. It is often the case that due to reasons such as high cost of data acquisition and/or protection, only the transactional data are available for data mining operations. Transactional data, however, tend to be highly sparse and skewed due to a large proportion of customers engaging in very few transactions. This can result in a bias in the prediction accuracy of classifiers built using them towards the larger proportion of customers with fewer transactions. This paper investigates an approach for accurately and confidently grouping and classifying customers in bins on the basis of the number of their transactions. The experiments we conducted on a highly sparse and skewed real-world transactional data show that our proposed approach can be used to identify a critical point at which customer profiles can be more confidently distinguished.
Date of Conference: 19-21 Oct. 2011