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7 Best Practices For Creating Training Data

The success of any AI or ML model is determined by the quality of the data used. A sophisticated model using a bad dataset would eventually fail to function the way it was expected to. With such models continually learning from the data provided, it’s necessary to build datasets that can help these model achieve their objectives. 

If you’re still unsure what training datasets are and why are they important to the success of your system. Here’s a quick read to get you up to speed with training data and building high-quality training sets.

While building a dataset sounds like a mundane and tedious task, it determines the success or failure of the model being built. To help you look past the dreadful hours spent on collecting, tagging, and labeling data, here are 7 things to follow when making training datasets. 

Avoid Target Leakage

When building training data for AI/ML models, it’s necessary to avoid any target leakage or data leakage. The issue of data leakage arises when the model is trained on parameters that might not be available during real-time prediction. Since the system already knows all possible outcomes, the output would be unrealistically accurate during training. 

Since data leakage causes the model to overrepresent its generalization error, making it useless for real-world applications. It’s necessary to remove any data from the training set that might not be known during real-time prediction to avoid target leakage issue. Furthermore, to mitigate the risks of data leakage, its necessary to involve business analysts and professionals with the domain expertise to be involved in all aspects of data science projects from problem specifications to data collection to deployment.  

Avoid Training-Serving Skew In Training Sets

Training-serving skew problem arises when the performance during training is different from the performance during serving. The most common reasons for this issue to arise are the discrepancy in how data is handled in training compared to serving, change in data between training and serving. And, the feedback loop between the model and algorithm. 

Exposing a model to training-serving skew can negatively impact the model’s performance, and the model might not function the way it’s expected to. One way to ensure you avoid training-serving skew is by measuring the skew. You can do this by, measuring the difference the performance on training data and the holdout data, the difference between holdout data and ‘next-day’ data, and the difference in performance between ‘next-day’ data and live data.

Make Information Explicit Where Needed 

As mentioned earlier, when working on data science projects, it’s important to involve business analysts and professionals of the domain to be part of the projects. Machine learning algorithms use a set of input data to create an output. This input data is called features, structured in the form of columns. 

Domain professionals can help in feature engineering, i.e., understanding those features that can make the model work. This helps in two primary ways, preparing proper input datasets compatible with the algorithm used and improving the accuracy of the model over time.

Avoid Biased Data When Building Training Sets

When building a training dataset for your AI/ML model, it’s important to make sure the training data is a representation of the entire universe of data. And, not biased towards a set of inputs. 

For example, an e-commerce website that ships products globally wants to use a chatbot to help its users shop better and faster. In such a scenario, if the training data is built only using exchanges/queries from customers of only one region. The system might throw exceptions when a customer from any other region interacts with the bot, given the nuances of language. So, to make sure the system is free of bias, the training data should contain exchanges of all kind of users the e-commerce shop caters to. 

Ensure Data Quality Is Maintained In Training Data 

As stated earlier, the quality of your training data is an essential factor in determining the accuracy and success of AI/ML models. A training dataset that’s filled with bias, and features not available in real-world scenarios would result in the model showing outputs that are far from ground-truths. 

We at Bridged.co have employed two ways of ensuring every dataset we deliver is of the highest quality – consensus approach, and sample review. These approaches make sure that the models trained using these datasets produce results as close to ground-realities as possible. 

Use Enough Training Data

It just isn’t enough to have good-quality data. The dataset you use to train your model must cover all possible variations of the features chosen to train the system. Failing to do so can cause the system function abnormally and produce inaccurate results.

The more features you use to train your model more the data that will be needed to sufficiently train the system. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ when deciding the size of training data. A good rule of thumb for classification models is to have at least 10 times the number of data as you have features, and for regression models, 50 times the number of data as you have features.

Set Up An In-house Workforce or Get A Fully-managed Training Data Solution Provider

Building a dataset is no overnight task. It’s a long tedious process that stretches on for weeks if not months. 

It would be ideal to have an ops team in-house whom you can train, monitor, and ensure the highest quality is maintained. However, it isn’t a scalable solution. 

You can also check out training data solution providers, such as ourselves, to help you with all your training data requirements. A fully-managed solution provider doesn’t just provide you with quality control but also ensure your requirements can be met even if at scale. 


It’s a no brainer that a good quality training dataset is fundamental to the success of your AI/ML systems. These important tips are bound to make sure the training data you build is of the highest quality and helps your system produce accurate results.