Your 5-step Guide to implementing MLOps

Arthi Rajendran
6 min readDec 26, 2022

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A large number of ML models are being developed each day by individuals & Industries worldwide. But what percentage of them become usable applications? Many data scientists at the beginning of their careers struggle with the concept of “productionizing” one’s work.

This article will serve as a simple guideline for taking that first step into the world of MLOps!

MLOps, or Machine Learning Operations, is a set of practices and tools that enable organizations to effectively develop, deploy, and manage machine learning models in a production environment.

Follow these 5 steps to get started with MLOps & push those piled-up models into production.

MLOps Process (Source: https://ml-ops.org/content/mlops-principles)

Step 1: Define your ML goals and objectives

Before you begin implementing MLOps, it’s important to understand what you hope to achieve with machine learning and how it fits into your overall business strategy.

Building a Strategy (Source: https://www.b2bsustainable.com/the-comparison-of-corporate-strategy-vs-business-strategy/)

Here are some steps you can take to define your ML goals and objectives:

  • Identify the business problem you want to solve: It’s important to understand the business problem you want to solve with machine learning. This could be anything from improving customer service to optimizing inventory management to detecting fraudulent activity.
  • Determine the value that machine learning can bring to your organization: Consider how machine learning can help your organization achieve its goals and what benefits it can provide, such as increased efficiency, reduced costs, or improved decision-making.
  • Set specific and measurable objectives: Once you’ve identified the business problem you want to solve and the value that machine learning can bring to your organization, set specific and measurable objectives for your ML project. These should be aligned with your overall business goals and should be quantifiable and achievable.
  • Define your success criteria: Establish clear criteria for what will be considered a successful ML project, including both short-term and long-term goals. This could include metrics such as accuracy, precision, recall, and more.

Step 2: Set up your infrastructure

This includes choosing the hardware and software platform you’ll use to develop and deploy your machine-learning models. You’ll also need to consider how you’ll store and access data, as well as how you’ll manage and monitor your machine-learning models in production.

Data Science infrastructure (Source: DataSource.ai)

Here are some considerations you should take into account when setting up your infrastructure:

  • Choose the right hardware and software platform: Depending on the complexity and scale of your machine learning models, you may need to consider the hardware and software platform you’ll use for development and deployment. This could include choosing a cloud platform, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure, or setting up your own on-premises infrastructure.
  • Consider data storage and access: You’ll need to consider how you’ll store and access data for your machine learning models. This could include setting up a data lake or data warehouse, as well as establishing processes for accessing and using data from various sources.
  • Set up processes for managing and monitoring your machine learning models: You’ll need to establish processes for managing and monitoring your machine learning models in production, including monitoring their performance, making updates and improvements as needed, and detecting and addressing issues.

Step 3: Develop and test your machine learning models

This includes choosing the right algorithms and technologies, training and testing your models, and selecting the best model for deployment.

Testing flow for your ML model (Source: DS3Lab)

Here are some considerations while developing and testing your machine-learning models:

  • Choose the right algorithms and technologies: Select the machine learning algorithms and technologies that are most appropriate for your business problem and data. This may involve researching different approaches and experimenting with different options to find the best fit.
  • Train and test your models: Train your machine learning models using a sample of your data and test their performance using a separate test dataset. This will help you determine how well the model is able to generalize to new data and identify any issues that need to be addressed.
  • Select the best model for deployment: Once you’ve trained and tested your models, choose the one that performs the best and is most suitable for deployment. This may involve evaluating a range of metrics, such as accuracy, precision, and recall, and considering other factors such as complexity and resource requirements.

Step 4: Deploy your machine-learning models

This involves integrating your models into your production environment and setting up processes for monitoring and maintaining them over time. When deploying your machine learning models:

Source: Simplus)
  • Integrate your models into your production environment: This involves integrating your machine learning models into your existing systems and processes, such as your web or mobile applications or your data pipelines. You’ll need to consider how your models will be accessed and used, as well as how you’ll handle any data or processing requirements.
  • Set up processes for monitoring and maintaining your models: Establish processes for monitoring and maintaining your machine learning models in production, including monitoring their performance, making updates and improvements as needed, and detecting and addressing issues.
  • Test your deployment: Before you deploy your machine learning models to production, it’s important to test them thoroughly to ensure they are working as expected and are ready for real-world use. This may involve testing your models with a sample of your data and simulating different scenarios to ensure they are robust and reliable.

Step 5: Monitor and maintain your machine-learning models

This includes monitoring the performance of your models and ensuring they continue to deliver accurate and reliable results, as well as making updates and improvements as needed.

Monitoring workflow (Source: AWS)

Have these in mind while monitoring and maintaining your machine-learning models:

  • Monitor the performance of your models: Regularly monitor the performance of your machine learning models to ensure they are delivering accurate and reliable results. This may involve tracking metrics such as accuracy, precision, and recall, as well as monitoring the overall performance of your models and detecting any issues.
  • Make updates and improvements as needed: As your models are used in production, you may need to make updates and improvements to ensure they continue to deliver accurate and reliable results. This could involve retraining your models on new data, adjusting their parameters, or implementing other changes as needed.
  • Detect and address issues: It’s important to have processes in place for detecting and addressing any issues with your machine learning models. This could include setting up alerts to notify you of potential problems and establishing procedures for addressing those issues in a timely manner.

By monitoring and maintaining your machine learning models regularly and using the right tools and practices, you can ensure they continue to deliver accurate and reliable results in a production environment.

Your ML Pipeline on a high level (Source: Dataiku)

Conclusion:

In conclusion, implementing MLOps involves a number of key steps that are designed to help organizations effectively develop, deploy, and manage machine learning models in a production environment. These steps include defining your ML goals and objectives, setting up your infrastructure, developing and testing your machine learning models, deploying your models, and monitoring and maintaining them over time. By following these steps and using the right tools and practices, you can ensure that your machine-learning models are delivering accurate and reliable results and are able to support your business goals. Overall, implementing MLOps requires a combination of technical expertise and business acumen, as well as a focus on continuous improvement and ongoing maintenance. By following these key steps, organizations can effectively leverage the power of machine learning to drive business value and achieve their desired outcomes.

This is the 1st article from my MLOps series. Subscribe to not miss out any of the topics.

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Arthi Rajendran

A Data Scientist, who is passionate about Healthcare, Data & Machine Learning.