Regression algorithms and classification are two approaches used in data analytics to do predictive assessments. But how do these models work, and what are the differences between them? Continue reading to find out.

Statistical skills are a must-have for any data analyst. Predictive analytics is one area where these abilities are very beneficial. Predictive analytics is used in emerging fields like machine learning and artificial intelligence to find patterns and forecast trends. Regression algorithms and classification algorithms are two standard algorithms for solving these problems. On the other hand, each is better suited to distinct types of prediction tasks. If you want to go into machine learning and AI, you’ll need to understand the distinction between classification and regression algorithms difficulties.

We’ll look at regression and classification in more depth in this piece, including how they’re employed in predictive modeling.

Defining Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is a branch of data analytics that employs previously collected data to forecast future patterns or actions. This form of analysis can be used for a wide range of data analytics topics, but it’s especially prevalent in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

While there are numerous approaches to predicting tasks, all predictive models share essential characteristics. To begin with, they all rely on variables that are independent of one another. The unknown outcome is then inferred or predicted using these input data.

It’s understandable that when your job is to make forecasts, you want to be as accurate as possible. Several things determine predictive analytics accuracy. To begin, predictive analytics frequently employs ‘training’ datasets. These datasets aid an algorithm by guiding it through known-to-be-correct patterns. Naturally, the quality of these datasets impacts the final result. The depth of the study and the assumptions used when developing the algorithm are two more aspects that affect accuracy. Surprisingly, the level of experience of the data analyst working on the problem is also a major deciding factor.

Predictive analysis is not always straightforward, as you may have guessed! It has a lot of potentials. Predictive analysis is used in real estate, for example, to forecast future housing prices. Your email provider uses predictive analytics to identify whether or not incoming emails are spam. Predictive analytics is also extensively used in meteorology to forecast the weather, in retail to optimize sales methods and even cancer diagnosis. The possibilities are practically limitless.

So far, we’ve covered the broad concept of predictive analytics. Aside from that, each task requires its own set of tools, or models, to complete. Algorithms come into play in this situation. Classification and regression algorithms are two algorithms that are frequently employed in predictive analytics. Let’s take a closer look at each one now that we’ve covered the fundamentals.

Defining Classification

The objective of classifying is to predict or determine which category an observation belongs to. Output variables in classification tasks are always discrete values. This implies they can be categorized into simple types like ‘yes/no, “spam/not spam,’ etc.

Input variables generate a mapping function in classification algorithms. With varying degrees of precision, this aids in determining the output variables. Training datasets are typically used to accomplish this. These data comprise observations whose classifications are already known and can be used as a guide by the algorithm.

Defining Regression

Regression, like classification, can make use of training data sets. Unlike type, which divides data into discrete categories, regression issues look for continuous values using input variables. A regression algorithms target outcome will always be a quantity. For regression problems, time-series data, sales figures, salaries, scores, heights, weights, and other frequent output values for regression problems include data, sales figures, salaries, scores, sizes, weights, etc.

Difference Between Classification And Regression

Given the apparent clarity of the distinctions between regression algorithms and classification, it may seem strange that data analysts occasionally get them mixed up. However, as is frequently the case in data analytics, things are not necessarily black-and-white. We’ll go through the distinctions between classification and regression again in this section. We’ll then look at their similarities, which, as you’ll see, bring out their differences even more.

Similarities In Classification And Regression

The similarities between regression and classification make it difficult to tell the two apart. If you use the wrong model for the job, your analysis will suffer. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the parallels so you’ll know what to look for.

To begin with, it may appear sensible to believe that regression and classification problems are solved using separate algorithms. Many techniques, like decision trees and random forests, can be used for classification and regression.

On the other hand, other models are better suited to a specific problem. Linear regression, for example, can only be utilized for regression tasks. To make matters even more complicated, logistic regression, which you might think is a regression model, is a classification model. But that’s data analytics for you…it keeps us on our toes all the time!

Another issue is that it’s not always easy to distinguish between regression and classification difficulties based on the input data. Whether you’re doing regression or classification, the input data can be discrete  or continuous.


Comprehending the subtleties of regression algorithms and classification can take many years. However, now that you’ve had this introduction, you should be ready to go further. Try our free five-day data analytics short course to learn how predictive modeling fits into the more significant subject of data analytics.

To know more about regression algorithms, contact the ONPASSIVE team.