# April 19: The 5 questions machine learning can answer

### Data science predicts answers to questions using algorithms.

Source: Microsoft

Published: March 2019

### The 5 questions machine learning can answer

Data science predicts answers to questions using algorithms.

It's helpful to think about an algorithm as a recipe and your data as the ingredients. An algorithm tells how to combine and mix the data in order to get an answer. Computers are like a blender. They do most of the hard work of the algorithm for you and they do it pretty fast.

It might surprise you, but there are only **five questions** that data science answers:

**Question: **Is this A or B?**Algorithm family: **Classification**Example: **Will this copier fail in the next two months? Yes or no?

**Question: **Is this weird?**Algorithm family: **Anomaly detection**Example: **Is this credit card charge normal?

**Question: **How much - or - How many?**Algorithm family: **Regression**Example: **What will the Q1 expenses be?

**Question: **How is this organized?**Algorithm family: **Clustering**Example: **Which car models have the most brake problems?

**Question: **What should I do next?**Algorithm family: **Reinforcement learning**Example: **For a humidity control system: adjust humidity or leave as is?

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