Win-Vector Blog (The Applied Theorist's Point of View) is part of Win-Vector LLC, authors John Mount and Nina Zumel. Nina Zumel has donated some time to greatly improve the vtreat R package documentation (now available as pre-rendered HTML here). vtreat is an R data.frame processor/conditioner package that helps prepare real-world data for predictive modeling in a statistically justifiable manner. Even with modern machine learning techniques (random forests, support vector machines, neural nets, gradient boosted trees, and so on) or standard statistical methods (regression, generalized regression, generalized additive models) there are common data issues that can cause modeling to fail. vtreat deals with a number of these in a principled and automated fashion. The idea is: even with a sophisticated machine learning algorithm there are many ways messy real world data can defeat the modeling process, and vtreat helps with at least ten of them. We emphasize: these problems are already in your data, you simply build better and more reliable models if you attempt to mitigate them. Automated processing is no substitute for actually looking at the data, but vtreat supplies efficient, reliable, documented, and tested implementations of many of the commonly needed transforms. Source.