Selecting the best model for predicting a term deposit product take-up in banking

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

In this study, we use data mining techniques to build predictive models on data collected by a Portuguese bank through a term savings product campaign conducted between May 2008 and November 2010. This data is imbalanced, given an observed take-up rate of 11.27%. Ling et al. (1998) indicated that predictive models built on imbalanced data tend to yield low sensitivity and high specificity, an indication of low true positive and high true negative rates. Our study confirms this finding. We, therefore, use three sampling techniques, namely, under-sampling, oversampling and Synthetic Minority Over-sampling Technique, to balance the data, this results in three additional datasets to use for modelling. We build the following predictive models: random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines, neural network and support vector machine on the datasets and we compare the models against each other for their ability to identify customers that are likely to take-up a term savings product. As part of the model building process, we investigate parameter permutations related to each modelling technique to tune the models, we find that this assists in building robust models. We assess our models for predictive performance through the use of the receiver operating characteristic curve, confusion matrix, GINI, kappa, sensitivity, specificity, and lift and gains charts. A multivariate adaptive regression splines model built on over-sampled data is found to be the best model for predicting term savings product takeup.