I am very new to Machine Learning. I've read about it and I successfully did a tutorial where we looked at the dimensions of Iris petals and predicted what other Iris petal sizes may be. This all made sense because we were just looking at numbers.
I'm having trouble taking the next step. Ultimately the project I want to accomplish is this:
Train with a set of diagnosis codes from emergency room visits.
Determine a trend for example, let's say people with asthma then develop COPD.
Then test with data of other people. The idea being to say, these people have asthma, they may develop COPD.
The issue I'm encountering making the leap is that the Diagnosis codes are not numerical. If you can suggest how to approach this or give me hints on what to study, I would appreciate it.