Demystifying Black-Box Models with SHAP Value Analysis -


As an Applied Data Scientist at Civis, I implemented the latest data science research to solve real-world problems. We recently worked with a global tool manufacturing company to reduce churn among their most loyal customers. A newly proposed tool, called SHAP (SHapley Additive exPlanation) values, allowed us to build a complex time-series XGBoost model capable of making highly accurate predictions for which customers were at risk, while still allowing for an individual-level interpretation of the factors that made each of these customers more or less likely to churn. To understand why this is important, we need to take a closer look at the concepts of model accuracy and interpretability. Until recently, we always had to choose between an accurate model that was hard to interpret, or a simple model that was easy to explain but sacrificed some accuracy.