Mining our own data

Recently we’ve made a short survey that was, upon Orange download, asking people how they found out about Orange, what was their data mining level and where do they work. The main purpose of this is to get a better insight into our user base and to figure out what is the profile of people interested in trying Orange.

Here we have some preliminary results that we’ve managed to gather in the past three weeks or so. Obviously we will use Orange to help us make sense of the data.


We’ve downloaded our data from Typeform and appended some background information such as OS and browser. Let’s see what we’ve got in the Data Table widget.



Ok, this is our entire data table. Here we also have the data on people who completed the survey and who didn’t. First, let’s organize the data properly. We’ll do this with Select Columns widget.



We removed all the meta attributes as they are not very relevant for our analysis. Next we moved the ‘completed’ attribute into target variable, thus making it our class variable.



Now we would like to see some basic distributions from our data.



Interesting. Most of our users are working on Windows, a few on Mac and very few on Linux.

Let’s investigate further. Now we want to know more about those people who actually completed the survey. Let’s use Select Columns again, this time removing os_type, os_name, agent_name and completed from our data and keeping just the answers. We made “Where do you work?” our class variable, but we could use either one of the three. Another trick is to set in directly in Distributions widget under ‘Group by’.



Ok, let’s again use Distributions – this is such a simple way to get a good sense of your data.



Obviously out of those who found out about Orange in college, most are students, but what’s interesting here is that there are so many. We can also see that out of those who found us on the web, most come from the private sector, followed by academia and researchers. Good. How about the other question?



Again, results are not particularly shocking, but it’s great to confirm your hypothesis with real data. Out of beginner level data miners, most are students, while most intermediate users come from the industry.

A quick look at the Mosaic Display will give us a good overview:



Yup, this sums it up quite nicely. We have lots of beginner levels users and not many expert ones (height of the box). Also most people found out about Orange on the web or in college (width of the box). A thin line on the left shows apriori distribution, thus making it easier to compare expected and actual number of instances. For example, there should be at least some people who are students and have found out about Orange at a conference. But there aren’t – a contrast between how much red there should be in the box (line on the left) and how much there actually is (bigger part of the box) is quite telling. We can even select all the beginner level users who found out about Orange in college and further inspect the data, but be it enough for now.

Our final workflow:




Obviously, this is a very simple analysis. But even such simple tasks are never boring with good visualization tools such as Distributions and Mosaic Display. You could also use Venn Diagram to find common features of selected subsets or perhaps Sieve Diagram for probabilities.


We are very happy to get these data and we would like to thank everyone who completed the survey. If you wish to help us further, please fill out a longer survey that won’t actually take you more than 3 minutes of your time (we timed it!).


Happy Friday everyone!

Learners in Python

We’ve already written about classifying instances in Python. However, it’s always nice to have a comprehensive list of classifiers and a step-by-step procedure at hand.



We start with simply importing Orange module into Python and loading our data set.

>>> import Orange
>>> data ="titanic")

We are using ‘’ data. You can load any data set you want, but it does have to have a categorical class variable (for numeric targets use regression). Now we want to train our classifier.

>>> learner = Orange.classification.LogisticRegressionLearner()
>>> classifier = learner(data)
>>> classifier(data[0])

Python returns the index of the value, as usual.


To check what’s in the class variable we print:

>>>print("Name of the variable: ",
>>>print("Class values: ", data.domain.class_var.values)
>>>print("Value of our instance: ", data.domain.class_var.values[0])

Name of the variable: survived
Class values: no, yes
Value of our instance: no



If you want to get predictions for the entire data set, just give the classifier the entire data set.

>>> classifier(data)

array[0, 0, 0, ..., 1, 1, 1]

If we want to append predictions to the data table, first use classifier on the data, then create a new domain with an additional meta attribute and finally form a new data table with appended predictions:

svm = classifier(data)

new_domain =, data.domain.class_vars, [data.domain.class_var])

table2 =, data.X, data.Y, svm.reshape(-1, 1))

We use .reshape to transform vector data into a reshaped array. Then we print out the data.




Want to use another classifier? The procedure is the same, simply use:


For most classifiers, you can set a whole range of parameters. Logistic Regression, for example, uses the following:

learner = Orange.classification.LogisticRegressionLearner(penalty='l2', dual=False, tol=0.0001, C=1.0, fit_intercept=True, intercept_scaling=1, class_weight=None, random_state=None, preprocessors=None)

To check the parameters for the classifier, use:




Another thing you can check with classifiers are the probabilities.

classifier(data[0], Orange.classification.Model.ValueProbs)

>>> (array([ 0.]), array([[ 1.,  0.]]))

The first array is the value for your selected instance (data[0]), while the second array contains probabilities for class values (probability for ‘no’ is 1 and for ‘yes’ 0).



And because we care about you, we’re giving you here a full list of classifier names:









For other learners, you can find all the parameters and descriptions in the documentation.


Data Mining Course in Houston

We have just completed an Introduction to Data Mining, a graduate course at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, Houston. The course was given in September and consisted of seven two-hour lectures, each one followed with a homework assignment. The course was attended by about 40 students and some faculty and research staff.


This was a challenging course. The audience was new to data mining, and we decided to teach them with the newest, third version of Orange. We also experimented with two course instructors (Blaz and Janez), who, instead of splitting the course into two parts, taught simultaneously, one on the board and the other one helping the students with hands-on exercises. To check whether this worked fine, we ran a student survey at the end of the course. We used Google Sheets and then examined the results with students in the class. Using Orange, of course.


And the outcome? Looks like the students really enjoyed the course


and the teaching style.


The course took advantage of several new widgets in Orange 3, including those for data preprocessing and polynomial regression. The core development team put a lot of effort during the summer to debug and polish this newest version of Orange. Also thanks to the financial support by AXLE EU FP7 and CARE-MI EU FP7 grants and grants by the Slovene Research agency, we were able to finish everything in time.

Scatter Plot Projection Rank

One of the nicest and surely most useful visualization widgets in Orange is Scatter Plot. The widget displays a 2-D plot, where x and y-axes are two attributes from the data.

2-dimensional scatter plot visualization
2-dimensional scatter plot visualization


Orange 2.7 has a wonderful functionality called VizRank, that is now implemented also in Orange 3. Rank Projections functionality enables you to find interesting attribute pairs by scoring their average classification accuracy. Click ‘Start Evaluation’ to begin ranking.

Rank Projections before ranking is performed.
Rank Projections before ranking is performed.


The functionality will also instantly adapt the visualization to the best scored pair. Select other pairs from the list to compare visualizations.

Rank Projections once the attribute pairs are scored.
Rank Projections once the attribute pairs are scored.


Rank suggested petal length and petal width as the best pair and indeed, the visualization below is much clearer (better separated).

Scatter Plot once the visualization is optimized.
Scatter Plot once the visualization is optimized.


Have fun trying out this and other visualization widgets!

Explorative data analysis with Hierarchical Clustering

Today we will write about cluster analysis with Hierarchical Clustering widget. We use a well-known Iris data set, which contains 150 Iris flowers, each belonging to one of the three species (setosa, versicolor and virginica). To an untrained eye the three species are very alike, so how could we best tell them apart? The data set contains measurements of sepal and petal dimensions (width and length) and we assume that these gives rise to interesting clustering. But is this so?

Hierarchical Clustering workflow
Hierarchical Clustering workflow


To find clusters, we feed the data from the File widget to Distances and then into Hierarchical Clustering. The last widget in our workflow visualizes hierarchical clustering dendrogram. In the dendrogram, let us annotate the branches with the corresponding Iris species (Annotation = Iris). We see that not all the clusters are composed of the same actual class – there are some mixed clusters with both virginicas and versicolors.

Selected clusters in Hierarchical Clustering widget
Selected clusters in Hierarchical Clustering widget


To see these clusters, we select them in Hierarchical Clustering widget by clicking on a branch. Selected data will be fed into the output of this widget. Let us inspect the data we have selected by adding Scatter Plot and PCA widgets. If we draw a Data Table directly from Hierarchical Clustering, we see the selected instances and the clusters they belong to. But if we first add the PCA widget, which decomposes the data into principal components, and then connect it to Scatter Plot, we will see the selected instances in the adjusted scatter plot (where principal components are used for x and y-axis).



Select other clusters in Hierarchical Clustering widget to see how the scatter plot visualization changes. This allows for an interesting explorative data analysis through a combination of widgets for unsupervised learning and visualizations.


Data Fusion Add-on for Orange

Orange is about to get even more exciting! We have created a prototype add-on for data fusion, which will certainly be of interest to many users. Data fusion brings large heterogeneous data sets together to create sensible clusters of related data instances and provides a platform for predictive modelling and recommendation systems.

This widget set can be used either to recommend you the next movie to watch based on your demographic characteristics, movies you gave high scores to, your preferred genre, etc. or to suggest you a set of genes that might be relevant for a particular biological function or process. We envision the add-on to be useful for predictive modeling dealing with large heterogeneous data compendia, such as life sciences.

The prototype set will be available for download next week, but we are happy to give you a sneak peek below.

Data fusion workflow
Data fusion workflow


  1. Movie Ratings widget is pre-set to offer data on movie ratings by users with 706 users and 855 movies (10% of the data selected as a subset).
  2. We add IMDb Actors to filter the data by matching movie ratings with actors.
  3. Then we add the Fusion Graph widget to fuse the data together. Here we have two object types, i.e. users and movies, and one relation between them, i.e. movie ratings.
  4. In Latent Factors we see latent data representation demonstrated by red squares at the side. Let’s select a latent matrix associated with Users as our input for the Data Table.
  5. In Data Table we see the latent data matrix of Users. The algorithm infers low-dimensional user profiles by collective consideration of entire data collection, i.e. movie ratings and actor information. In our scenario the algorithm has  transformed 855 movie titles into 70 movie groupings, i.e. latent components.
Data fusion visualized
Data fusion visualized

Excel files in Orange 3.0

Orange 3.0 version comes with an exciting feature that will simplify reading your data. If the old Orange required conversion from Excel into either tab-delimited or comma-separated files, the new version allows you to open plain .xlsx format data sets in the program. Naturally, the .txt and .csv files are still readable in Orange, so feel free to use data sets in any of the above-mentioned formats.

Since Orange 3.0 is still in the development mode, you will find a smaller selection of widgets available at the moment, but give it a go and see how it works for Excel type data and whether the existing widgets are sufficient for your data analysis. Please find the daily build for OSX here.


Orange 3.0 can read Excel files.

Orange Fridays

You might think “casual Fridays” are the best thing since sliced bread. But what if I were to tell you we have “Orange Fridays” at our lab, where lab members focus solely on debugging Orange software and making improvements to existing features. This is because the new developing version of Orange (3.0) still needs certain widgets to be implemented, such as net explorer, radviz, and survey plot.

But there’s more. We are currently hosting an expert on data fusion from the University of Leuven, prof. dr. Yves Moreau, to discuss new venues and niches for the development of Orange. The big debate is how to scale the program to fit large data sets and make it possible to process such sets in a shorter period of time. If you have any ideas and suggestions, please feel free to share them on our community forum.


prof. dr. Yves Moreau – Prioritization of candidate disease genes and drug—target interactions by genomic data fusion


Working with SQL data in Orange 3

Orange 3 is slowly, but steadily, gaining support for working with data stored in a SQL database. The main focus is to allow huge data sets that do not fit into RAM to be analyzed and visualized efficiently. Many widgets already recognize the type of input data and perform the necessary computations intelligently. This means that data is not downloaded from the database and analyzed locally, but is retained on the remote server, with the computation tasks translated into SQL queries and offloaded to the database engine. This approach takes advantage of the state-of-the-art optimizations relational databases have for working with data that does not fit into working memory, as well as minimizes the transfer of required information to the client.

We demonstrate how to explore and visualize data stored in a SQL table on a remote server in the following short video. It shows how to connect to the server and load the data with the SqlTable widget, manipulate the data (Select Columns, Select Rows), obtain the summary statistics (Box plot, Distributions), and visualize the data (Heat map, Mosaic Display).



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no 318633


Towards Orange 3

We are rushing, full speed ahead, towards Orange 3. A complete revamp of Orange in Python 3 changes its data model to that of numpy, making Orange compatible with an array of Python-based data analytics. We are rewriting all the widgets for visual programming as well. We have two open fronts: the scripting part, and the widget part. So much to do, but it is going well: the closed tasks for widgets are those on the left of Anze (the board full of sticky notes), and those open, in minority, are on Anze’s right. Oh, by the way, it’s Anze who is managing the work and he looks quite happy.