The problem of constructing data-based, predictive, reduced models for the Kuramoto–Sivashinsky equation is considered, under circumstances where one has observation data only for a small subset of the dynamical variables. Accurate prediction is achieved by developing a discrete-time stochastic reduced system, based on a NARMAX (Nonlinear Autoregressive Moving Average with eXogenous input) representation. The practical issue, with the NARMAX representation as with any other, is to identify an efficient structure, i.e., one with a small number of terms and coefficients. This is accomplished here by estimating coefficients for an approximate inertial form. The broader significance of the results is discussed.