12 Data Science Projects for Beginners and Experts

Data science is a booming industry. Try your hand at these projects to develop your skills and keep up with the latest trends.

Written by Claire D. Costa
12 Data Science Projects for Beginners and Experts
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Hal Koss | Mar 12, 2024

Data science is a profession that requires a variety of scientific tools, processes, algorithms and knowledge extraction systems that are used to identify meaningful patterns in structured and unstructured data alike.

If you fancy data science and are eager to get a solid grip on the technology, now is as good a time as ever to hone your skills to comprehend and manage the upcoming challenges facing the profession. The purpose behind this article is to share some practicable ideas for your next project, which will not only boost your confidence in data science but also play a critical part in enhancing your skills.

12 Data Science Projects to Experiment With

  1. Building chatbots.
  2. Credit card fraud detection.
  3. Fake news detection.
  4. Forest fire prediction.
  5. Classifying breast cancer.
  6. Driver drowsiness detection.
  7. Recommender systems.
  8. Sentiment analysis.
  9. Exploratory data analysis.
  10. Gender detection and age detection.
  11. Recognizing speech emotion.
  12. Customer segmentation.


Top Data Science Projects

Understanding data science can be quite confusing at first, but with consistent practice, you’ll start to grasp the various notions and terminologies in the subject. The best way to gain more exposure to data science apart from going through the literature is to take on some helpful projects that will upskill you and make your resume more impressive.

In this section, we’ll share a handful of fun and interesting project ideas with you spread across all skill levels ranging from beginners to intermediate to veterans.

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1. Building Chatbots

Chatbots play a pivotal role for businesses as they can effortlessly  without any slowdown. They automate a majority of the customer service process,  single-handedly reducing the customer service workload. The chatbots utilize a variety of techniques backed with artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science.

Chatbots analyze the input from the customer and reply with an appropriate mapped response. To train the chatbot, you can use recurrent neural networks with the intents JSON dataset, while the implementation can be handled using Python. Whether you want your chatbot to be domain-specific or open-domain depends on its purpose. As these chatbots process more interactions, their intelligence and accuracy also increase.


2. Credit Card Fraud Detection

Credit card fraud is more common than you think, and lately, they’ve been on the rise. We’re on the path to cross a billion credit card users by the end of 2022. But thanks to the innovations in technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science, credit card companies have been able to successfully identify and intercept these frauds with sufficient accuracy.

Simply put, the idea behind this is to analyze the customer’s usual spending behavior, including mapping the location of those spendings to identify the fraudulent transactions from the non-fraudulent ones. For this project, you can use either R or Python with the customer’s transaction history as the data set and ingest it into decision trees, artificial neural networks, and logistic regression. As you feed more data to your system, you should be able to increase its overall accuracy.


3. Fake News Detection

Fake news needs no introduction. In today’s connected world, it’s become ridiculously easy to share fake news over the internet. Every once in a while, you’ll see false information being spread online from unauthorized sources that not only cause problems to the people targeted but also has the potential to cause widespread panic and even violence.

To curb the spread of fake news, it’s crucial to identify the authenticity of information, which can be done using this data science project. You can use Python and build a model with TfidfVectorizer and PassiveAggressiveClassifier to separate the real news from the fake one. Some Python libraries best suited for this project are pandas, NumPy and scikit-learn. For the data set, you can use News.csv.


4. Forest Fire Prediction

Building a forest fire and wildfire prediction system is another good use of data science’s capabilities. A wildfire or forest fire is an uncontrolled fire in a forest. Every forest wildfire has caused an immense amount of damage to  nature, animal habitats and human property.

To control and even predict the chaotic nature of wildfires, you can use k-means clustering to identify major fire hotspots and their severity. This could be useful in properly allocating resources. You can also make use of meteorological data to find common periods and seasons for wildfires to increase your model’s accuracy.

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5. Classifying Breast Cancer

If you’re looking for a healthcare project to add to your portfolio, you can try building a breast cancer detection system using Python. Breast cancer cases have been on the rise, and the best possible way to fight breast cancer is to identify it at an early stage and take appropriate preventive measures.

To build a system with Python, you can use the invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) data set, which contains histology images for cancer-inducing malignant cells. You can train your model with it, too. For this project, you’ll find convolutional neural networks are better suited for the task, and as for Python libraries, you can use NumPy, OpenCV, TensorFlow, Keras, scikit-learn and Matplotlib.

A tutorial highlighting five data science projects for beginners. | Video: Dataiku


6. Driver Drowsiness Detection

Road accidents take many lives every year, and one of the root causes of road accidents is sleepy drivers. One of the best ways to prevent this is to implement a drowsiness detection system.

A driver drowsiness detection system that constantly assesses the driver’s eyes and alerts them with alarms if the system detects frequently closing eyes is yet another project that has the potential to save many lives.

A webcam is a must for this project in order for  the system to periodically monitor the driver’s eyes. This Python project will require a deep learning model and libraries such as OpenCV, TensorFlow, Pygame, and Keras.

More on Data Science: 8 Data Visualization Tools That Every Data Scientist Should Know


7. Recommender Systems (Movie/Web Show Recommendation)

Have you ever wondered how media platforms like YouTube, Netflix and others recommend what to watch next? They use a tool called the recommender/recommendation system. It takes several metrics into consideration, such as age, previously watched shows, most-watched genre and watch frequency, and it feeds them into a machine learning model that then generates what the user might like to watch next.

Based on your preferences and input data, you can try to build either a content-based recommendation system or a collaborative filtering recommendation system. For this project, you can use R with the MovieLens data set, which covers ratings for over 58,000 movies. As for the packages, you can use recommenderlab, ggplot2, reshap2 and data.table.


8. Sentiment Analysis

Also known as opinion mining, sentiment analysis is a tool backed by artificial intelligence, which essentially allows you to identify, gather and analyze people’s opinions about a subject or a product. These opinions could be from a variety of sources, including online reviews or survey responses, and could span a range of emotions such as happy, angry, positive, love, negative, excitement and more.

Modern data-driven companies benefit the most from a sentiment analysis tool as it gives them the critical insight into the people’s reactions to the dry run of a new product launch or a change in business strategy. To build a system like this, you could use R with janeaustenR’s data set along with the tidytext package.


9. Exploratory Data Analysis

Data analysis starts with exploratory data analysis (EDA). It plays a key role in the data analysis process as it helps you make sense of your data and often involves visualizing them for better exploration. For visualization, you can pick from a range of options, including histograms, scatterplots or heat maps. EDA can also expose unexpected results and outliers in your data. Once you have identified the patterns and derived the necessary insights from your data, you are good to go.

A project of this scale can easily be done with Python, and for the packages, you can use pandas, NumPy, seaborn and matplotlib.

A great source for EDA data sets is the IBM Analytics Community.


10. Gender Detection and Age Prediction

Identified as a classification problem, this gender detection and age prediction project will put both your machine learning and computer vision skills to the test. The goal is to build a system that takes a person’s image and tries to identify their age and gender.

For this project, you can implement convolutional neural networks and use Python with the OpenCV package. You can grab the Adience dataset for this project. Factors such as makeup, lighting and facial expressions will make this challenging and try to throw your model off, so keep that in mind.


11. Recognizing Speech Emotions

Speech is one of the most fundamental ways of expressing ourselves, and it contains a variety of emotions, such as calmness, anger, joy and excitement, to name a few. By analyzing the emotions behind speech, it’s possible to use this information to restructure our actions,  services and even products, to offer a more personalized service to specific individuals.

This project involves identifying and extracting emotions from multiple sound files containing human speech. To make something like this in Python, you can use the Librosa, SoundFile, NumPy, Scikit-learn, and PyAaudio packages. For the data set, you can use the Ryerson Audio-Visual Database of Emotional Speech and Song (RAVDESS), which contains over 7300 files.


12. Customer Segmentation

Modern businesses strive by delivering highly personalized services to their customers, which would not be possible without some form of customer categorization or segmentation. In doing so, organizations can easily structure their services and products around their customers while targeting them to drive more revenue.

For this project, you will use unsupervised learning to group your customers into clusters based on individual aspects such as age, gender, region, interests, and so on. K-means clustering or hierarchical clustering are suitable here, but you can also experiment with fuzzy clustering or density-based clustering methods. You can use the Mall_Customers data set as sample data.


More Data Science Project Ideas to Build

  • Visualizing climate change.
  • Uber’s pickup analysis.
  • Web traffic forecasting using time series.
  • Impact of Climate Change On Global Food Supply.
  • Detecting Parkinson’s disease.
  • Pokemon data exploration.
  • Earth surface temperature visualization.
  • Brain tumor detection with data science.
  • Predictive policing.

Throughout this article, we’ve covered 12 fun and handy data science project ideas for you to try out. Each will help you understand the basics of data science technology. As one of the hottest, in-demand professions in the industry, the future of data science holds many promises. But to make the most out of the upcoming opportunities, you need to be prepared to take on the challenges it brings.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Build a chatbot using Python.
  2. Create a movie recommendation system using R.
  3. Detect credit card fraud using R or Python.

To start a data science project, first decide what sort of data science project you want to undertake, such as data cleaning, data analysis or data visualization. Then, find a good dataset on a website like data.world or data.gov. From there, you can analyze the data and communicate your results.

Data science projects vary in length and depend on several variables like the data source, the complexity of the problem you’re trying to solve and your skill level. It could take a few hours or several months.

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