Dataset Guidelines for Forecast - Amazon Forecast

Dataset Guidelines for Forecast

Consult to the following guidelines if Amazon Forecast fails to import your dataset, or if your dataset doesn't function as expected.

Timestamp Format

For Year (Y), Month (M), Week (W), and Day (D) collection frequencies, Forecast supports the yyyy-MM-dd timestamp format (for example, 2019-08-21) and, optionally, the HH:mm:ss format (for example, 2019-08-21 15:00:00).

For Hour (H) and Minute (M) frequencies, Forecast supports only the yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss format (for example 2019-08-21 15:00:00).

Guideline: Change the timestamp format for the collection frequency of your dataset to the supported format.

Amazon S3 File or Bucket

When you import a dataset, you can specify either the path to a CSV or Parquet file in your Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket that contains your data or the name of the S3 bucket that contains your data. If you specify a CSV or Parquet file, Forecast imports just that file. If you specify an S3 bucket, Forecast imports all of the CSV or Parquet files in the bucket up to 10,000 files. If you import multiple files by specifying a bucket name, all CSV or Parquet files must conform to the specified schema.

Guideline: Specify a specific file or an S3 bucket using the following syntax:





Parquet files can have the extension .parquet, .parq, .pqt, or no extension at all.

Full Dataset Updates

Your first dataset import is always a full import, subsequent imports can either be full or incremental updates. You must use the Forecast API to specify the import mode.

With a full update, all existing data is replaced with the newly imported data. Because full dataset import jobs are not aggregated, your most recent dataset import is the one that is used when training a predictor or generating a forecast.

Guideline: Create an incremental dataset update to append your new data to the existing data. Otherwise, ensure that your most recent dataset import contains all of the data you want to model, and not just the new data collected since the previous import.

Incremental Dataset Updates

Fields such as timestamp, data format, geolocation, etc. are read from the currently active dataset. You do not need to include this information with an incremental dataset import. If they are included, they must match the originally provided values.

Guideline: Perform a full dataset import to change any of these values.

Attribute Order

The order of attributes specified in the schema definition must match the column order in the CSV or Parquet file that you are importing. For example, if you defined timestamp as the first attribute, then timestamp must also be the first column in the input file.

Guideline: Verify that the columns in the input file are in the same order as the schema attributes that you created.

Weather Index

In order to apply the Weather Index, you must include a geolocation attribute in your target time series and any related time series datasets. You also need to specify time zones for your target time series timestamps.

Guideline: Ensure that your datasets include a geolocation attribute and that your timestamps have an assigned time zone. For more information, refer to the Weather Index Conditions and Restrictions.

Dataset Header

A dataset header in your input CSV may cause a validation error. We recommend omitting a header for CSV files.

Guideline: Delete the dataset header and try the import again.

A dataset header is required for Parquet files.

Dataset Status

Before you can import training data with the CreateDatasetImportJob operation, the Status of the dataset must be ACTIVE.

Guideline: Use the DescribeDataset operation to get the dataset's status. If the creation or update of the dataset failed, check the formatting of your dataset file and attempt to create it again.

Default File Format

The default file format is CSV.

File Format and Delimiter

Forecast supports only the comma-separated values (CSV) file format and Parquet format. You can't separate values using tabs, spaces, colons, or any other characters.

Guideline: Convert your dataset to CSV format (using only commas as your delimiter) or Parquet format and try importing the file again.

File Name

File names must contain at least one alphabetic character. Files with names that are only numeric can't be imported.

Guideline: Rename your input data file to include at least one alphabetic character and try importing the file again.

Partitioned Parquet Data

Forecast does not read partitioned Parquet files.

What-if analysis Dataset Requirements

What-if analyses require CSV datasets. The TimeSeriesSelector operation of the CreateWhatIfAnalysis action and the TimeSeriesReplacementDataSource operation of the CreateWhatIfForecast do not accept Parquet files.