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Handle Date and time for machine learning


Handling date and time data effectively is crucial in many machine learning projects. OtasML, a visual machine learning tool, makes this process seamless with its dedicated "Handle Date and Time" page. This page provides users with two powerful options for processing date and time data: "Date Time to Unix" and "Date Time Extraction". By allowing users to configure, preview, and save these transformations without affecting the original data, OtasML ensures that the data is in the optimal format for model training. Let’s explore each of these options in detail.

Date Time to Unix

The "Date Time to Unix" option converts date and time values into Unix timestamps. A Unix timestamp represents the number of seconds that have elapsed since January 1, 1970 (midnight UTC/GMT). This format is widely used in computing and can simplify the processing of date and time data.


  • Standardizes date and time data into a consistent numerical format.
  • Facilitates comparison and arithmetic operations on date and time values.
  • Compatible with most machine learning algorithms that require numerical input.

In OtasML, users can select the "Date Time to Unix" option, configure the specific date and time columns to be converted, and preview the changes. This preview functionality allows users to verify the conversion before applying it, ensuring accuracy and consistency.

Date Time Extraction

The "Date Time Extraction" option allows users to extract various components from date and time data, such as the month, year, day, hour, minute, second, and week. This is particularly useful for capturing temporal patterns and trends that can enhance model performance.

For example, a date-time value of "2024-06-08 15:30:45" can be broken down into:

  • Year: 2024
  • Month: 6
  • Day: 8
  • Hour: 15
  • Minute: 30
  • Second: 45
  • Week: 23 (week of the year)


  • Enables the model to capture time-based features and seasonal patterns.
  • Provides flexibility in using specific components of date and time data relevant to the problem.

OtasML’s interface allows users to select the "Date Time Extraction" option, choose the specific components they wish to extract, and preview the transformation. This ensures that users can see the extracted features and make adjustments before finalizing the configuration.

Using the Handle Date and Time tool in OtasML

The Handle Date and Time page in OtasML is designed to be user-friendly and efficient. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using it:

  1. Select Conversion Type: Choose either "Date Time to Unix" or "Date Time Extraction" based on your data processing needs.
  2. Configure Settings: For "Date Time to Unix", specify the date and time columns to be converted. For "Date Time Extraction", select the components (e.g., year, month, day) to be extracted.
  3. Preview Transformation: View a preview of the transformed data to verify the changes and make any necessary adjustments.
  4. Save Configuration: Once satisfied with the preview, save the configuration. The system will apply this configuration during the model training process, ensuring the data is transformed as specified.


By providing these versatile date and time handling tools and an intuitive interface, OtasML simplifies the process of preparing date and time data for machine learning. Users can efficiently transform their data without the risk of altering the original dataset, allowing them to focus on building robust models. Whether you need to convert dates to Unix timestamps or extract specific date-time components, the Handle Date and Time page in OtasML equips you with the tools to manage your temporal data effectively.


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