Data Collection

A Complete Guide To Data Collection For Machine Learning


Do you have any plans to integrate machine learning into your current organizational structure? Or are you just wanting to build up an intelligent and self-contained system to serve a certain user base? Whatever goal you have for machine learning implementation, text data collection or speech data collection you won’t be able to achieve it until you have appropriate data to work with.

In this blog, we have discussed everything in detail about data collection for machine learning, how you should conduct it and steps to prepare your datasets.

Importance of AI Data Collection

The issue of data collecting is endless. For the uninitiated, it may simply be defined as the process of gathering model-specific data in order to better train AI algorithms so that they can make proactive decisions on their own.

Isn’t that simple? There’s more to it, though. Consider your future AI model as a youngster who has no understanding of how things function. You must first educate the youngster on the principles before teaching him or her how to make calls and finish homework. This is what AI datasets aim to do by serving as a foundation for models to learn from.

Data Collection Process

The first step in building any data science algorithm is to determine your desired outcomes. These were the sorts of actions we wanted to keep track of in our scenario. We wanted to differentiate four basic training actions of a horse in the HorseAnalytics project: standing, walking, trotting, and galloping.

You must provide the correct data to educate an algorithm to recognize any behavior. Data goes through a neural network as the primary element until it starts discovering patterns and forming inferences based on the similarities.

Keep in mind that only high-quality data will allow you to construct an accurate information model. But here’s the thing: when you’re working on a one-of-a-kind program, you’re unlikely to come across an organized database or, in some situations, any records at all.

1. Make a data-gathering strategy

Before you begin gathering data, make a strategy that outlines the types of data you’ll need, the amount of data you’ll need, and the subjects of your data collection. You should also be aware of the maximum and minimum data requirements. Your data scientist is the individual in charge of all of these criteria.

2. Organize a team to gather data

You’ll have a better grasp of what you should include and omit from the strategy as the inquiry progresses. You’ll see that certain data just adds noise to the analysis process, while other data increases accuracy. As a result, it’s a good idea to evaluate and adjust the strategy on a frequent basis based on your unique circumstances.

When it comes to data, having a team of specialists you can rely on is critical; someone who knows the value of getting the appropriate information. They should be aware that data collection flow violations result in data corruption, thus it would be their obligation to monitor the data collection flow and identify any concerns that arose.

These data scientists should be able to operate independently with minimal supervision, allowing you to delegate tasks later. It’s priceless to have a staff that helps you expand and engage new individuals without your direct involvement.

3. Organize data-gathering tools

To collect data, you’ll need specialized gear and software tools, which may vary depending on the project. It’s important to understand that each piece of hardware collects data in a unique way. When comparing data from two distinct device types, for example, you could notice some differences since the sensors are different. To avoid this and improve data accuracy, we employed a few cellphones during the data collection procedure.

When collecting data, it’s critical to remain consistent. We attempted to be as precise as possible by constantly placing the device in the same pocket and capturing data in the same way during each collection session.

While data collection is a mechanical process, its usefulness is determined by human variables. Ascertain that your whole data science team is on the same page.

4. Expect low efficiency throughout the initial iterations

Everything moves slowly at first, which is understandable given that everyone is new to the process. In the beginning, you might want to spend some time double-checking each stage of the data collection process. But don’t worry; after you’ve gotten over the “trial-and-error” stage, the data collection procedure will run much more quickly and smoothly.

5. Always go through the information you’ve obtained

Every data scientist’s dread is putting a lot of time and effort into acquiring data only to find out later that it’s ruined. Anything may go wrong: certain sensors may malfunction or stop operating altogether, while others may generate abnormalities. As a result, you should always analyze the data you get and attempt to spot any problems as soon as possible so that you can correct them.

6. Prepare a data preparation toolbox

Preprocessing is required if you want to obtain rapid feedback on difficulties with the data collection toolbox.

How To Prepare Your Datasets For Machine Learning?

1. Examine the accuracy of your data

Do you trust your data? That’s the first thing you should ask. With bad data, even the most advanced machine learning algorithms will fail. In a separate piece, we go into data quality in further detail, but there are a few crucial items to consider.

What is the extent of human error? If your data is collected or tagged by people, test a subset of it to see how frequently errors occur.

Were there any technical issues with the data transfer? For example, the same records may be duplicated due to a server fault, or you may have encountered a storage disaster or a cyberattack. Examine how these occurrences influenced your data.

2. To make data consistent, format it

The file format you’re employing is another term for data formatting. And converting a dataset into a file format that works best for your machine learning system isn’t difficult.

We’re talking about the uniformity of the format of the recordings themselves. It’s worth checking that all variables inside a given attribute are written consistently if you’re combining data from many sources or if your dataset has been manually updated by multiple persons. These might include date formats, monetary amounts, addresses, and so forth. The input format should be consistent across the dataset.

3. Data should be minimized

Because… Well, huge data! It’s tempting to incorporate as much data as possible. That is a blunder. Yes, you should gather as much information as possible. It’s best to decrease data if you’re compiling a dataset with certain goals in mind.

You already know what the target property is (the value you want to forecast). Without any forecasting input, you may guess which variables are crucial and which would add more dimensions and complexity to your dataset.

This method is known as attribute sampling.

Another method is to use record sampling. To improve forecast accuracy, you simply eliminate records (objects) with missing, erroneous, or less representative data. The methodology may also be utilized later on when you require a model prototype to see if a machine learning method you’ve picked produces the desired results and calculate the ROI of your ML endeavor.

By separating the full attribute data into numerous groups and drawing the number for each category, you may also minimize data by aggregating it into bigger records. Instead of looking at the most popular goods on any particular day over the course of five years, combine them into weekly or monthly ratings. This will aid in the reduction of data quantity and computation time without causing any discernible prediction losses.

4. ETL and Data Warehouses

The first is data storage in warehouses. Structured (or SQL) records, which fit into conventional table forms, are typically stored in these storages. All of your sales records, payrolls, and CRM data are likely to fall into this group. Transforming data before loading it into a warehouse is another conventional aspect of dealing with warehouses. In this post, we’ll go through data transformation strategies in further detail. But, in general, it implies that you know what data you need and how it should appear, so you analyze it all before saving it. This method is known as Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL).

The trouble with this strategy is that you never know which data will be valuable and which will not. As a result, warehouses are typically used to visualize the metrics we know we need to track using business intelligence interfaces. There’s also a third option.

5. ELT and Data Lakes

Data lakes are storage systems that can store both structured and unstructured data, such as photographs, videos, voice recordings, PDF files, and so on. However, data is not altered before being stored, even if it is organized. You’d import the data in its current state and determine how to utilize and handle it afterward, on-demand. This method is known as Extract, Load, and — when needed — Transform.

6. Managing the human element

Another consideration is the human element. Data collecting may be a time-consuming activity that overburdens your personnel with too many instructions. If workers are required to keep records on a regular basis and manually, they are likely to dismiss these chores as yet another bureaucratic whim and abandon the job.

7. Identify the issue as soon as possible

Knowing what you want to forecast can assist you in determining which data is more beneficial to collect. Conduct data exploration and attempt to think in the areas of classification, clustering, regression, and ranking that we discussed in our whitepaper on the commercial application of machine learning when phrasing the challenge. These duties are differentiated in the following fashion in layman’s terms:


You’re looking for an algorithm to figure out the categorization criteria and the number of classes. The primary difference between this and classification jobs is that you don’t know what the groups and division principles are. This is common, for example, when you need to segment your consumers and customize a distinct approach to each section based on its characteristics.


You’d want an algorithm to produce a numerical value. For example, if you spend too much time figuring out the proper pricing for your product because it relies on so many variables, regression techniques can help you estimate it.

Wrapping Up

Data collection is a time-consuming procedure. It necessitates a great deal of experience and, in many cases, a team of highly competent data engineers and scientists. Companies must focus on partnering with reputable service providers to outsource data collection as soon as possible, whether they are creating computer vision models with video and picture data collection or NLP systems with voice and text data collection.
We believe that our data collection suggestions will assist you in using data science to drive your product or possibly your entire company. If you want assistance, we can assist you with obtaining data, devising methods, and training a neural network for your specific project. Get in touch with us right away at +1 585 283 0055 or write to us at