AI News, Alternative Finance Data for Emerging Markets: Natural Language Processing (Part III)

Alternative Finance Data for Emerging Markets: Natural Language Processing (Part III)

The following was written by CTO Malcolm Kapuza, who dives into some example code showing how alternative finance data in the Capital Finder is categorized, using machine learning and natural language processing.

In the second part, I discussed in detail where we source our different data points and how we turn this data into one coherent and intuitive view of developing world alternative finance.

By the end of this blog, you will learn all of the high level steps for creating your own data pipeline, including some of the more detailed steps of using Machine Learning to build a Natural Language Classifier.

The HTML tells us a surprising lot about the website in question. For example, HTML holds information about: You may be surprised by how much depth HTML adds to your understanding of a webpage. HTML forms the basis for how websites are Search Engine Optimized, and therefore categorized, throughout the web. We rank these different HTML aspects according to our view on their importance.

The text_from_html method makes use of Beautiful Soup’s built in findAll method to find all text and then uses the tag_visible method to filter out any content that is not supposed to be read by the website visitor.

In this case, the reason that we care only about the visible text is that we want to ensure that our Natural Language Classifier is reading the page in the same way that a normal website user would be.

As an exercise, however,  think about how you might modify the code to account for the difference between a title tag and a paragraph tag, for instance.

One of our most straightforward use cases for NLP is categorizing our capital providers by funding type, and we have found it to be dramatically more effective than our paid analysts by comparing the rate of false positive vs.

We gathered our training set via a painstaking process of viewing and reviewing a subset of 6000 of our capital providers until we were certain that it was 100% accurate.

If your model fits the training dataset and also fits the test dataset, then you can be confident that there is minimal overfitting and that it is properly generalized to the population.

If not, it means that your model is overfitting the training data and you may need to either tweak some parameters or increase the size and quality of your training data.

The validation dataset ensures that you are not overfitting these hyperparameters in the same way the testing data ensures that you are not overfitting your model parameters.

A full explanation of what is going on under the hood is out of the scope of this tutorial, but the classifier essentially uses a series of guesses and checks to determine the main differences.

The generator avoids us having to store our large datasets in memory, allowing for retrieval of our texts on demand without clogging up resources.

We are interested in identifying common bigrams because these are very powerful features within our text data that help us determine overall meaning.

You will find with a lot of NLP work the bulk of the heavy lifting is gathering, cleaning and processing the data and that common packages handle the nuances of the Natural Learning Processing itself:  We can then test some common bigrams that should appear: Now that we have our bigrams trained, we are going to create a dictionary to store the provider name, provider type, and text.

In this example, to keep things simple, we store a text file called provider_type.txt with the name of the provider type in the same directory as text.txt.

Next, we gather the bigrams from within the list of tokens and finally we add the tokens to our provider dictionary and we add that dictionary to our list of documents, which will later be split into our test and training datasets.

For our features, we have chosen to use the 100 most common words, excluding any words three characters or fewer, across all documents.

Once we have a list of features for each document, we can compare these features in order to determine which features are most applicable to each provider type (MFI or VC).

It is somewhat difficult to grasp that 62 lines of code in this example are dedicated to cleaning, processing and preprocessing data and that only 1 line is used for actually training the classifier, but this is the nature of data science.

Now, time to test our new classifier on our test data: This tells us the accuracy of our classifier when applied to our test data.

An example of a slightly deeper analysis you can perform is the following, which prints the provider name, provider type and first 50 tokens.

We can clearly see in the following output a couple of reasons why some of the capital providers are misclassified. For example, the first two are written in foreign languages.

If you’re interested in working on these kinds of projects please check our careers site, or email me at malcolm [at]!

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