What is Training Data?

Machine Learning algorithms learn from data. They find relationships, develop understanding, make decisions, and evaluate their confidence from the training data they’re given. And the better the training data is, the better the model performs.

Algorithms learn from data. They find relationships, develop understanding, make decisions, and evaluate their confidence from the training data they’re given. And the better the training data is, the better the model performs.

In fact, the quality and quantity of your training data has as much to do with the success of your data project as the algorithms themselves.

Now, even if you’ve stored a vast amount of well-structured data, it might not be labeled in a way that actually works as a training dataset for your model. For example, autonomous vehicles don’t just need pictures of the road, they need labeled images where each car, pedestrian, street sign, and more are annotated. Sentiment analysis projects require labels that help an algorithm understand when someone’s using slang or sarcasm. Chatbots need entity extraction and careful syntactic analysis, not just raw language.

In other words, the data you want to use for training usually needs to be enriched or labeled. Plus, you might need to collect more of it to power your algorithms. Chances are, the data you’ve stored isn’t quite ready to be used to train machine learning algorithms.

If you’re trying to make a great model, you need a strong foundation, which means great training data. And we know a thing or two about that. After all, we’ve labeled over 5 billion rows of data for the most innovative companies in the world. Whether it’s images, text, audio, or, really, any other kind of data, we can help create the training set that makes your models successful.

Learn more about how we can help you get reliable training data for machine learning.

Reliable Datasets from Appen

Curated from the Appen platform, we have multiple datasets available for the entire data science and machine learning community. The template used to annotate each dataset can be duplicated so you can expand them on the platform if needed. Inside each dataset, you’ll find the raw data, job design, description, instructions, and more.

Click below to learn more about our dataset solutions:


Training Data FAQs

What is training data?

  • Neural networks and other artificial intelligence programs require an initial set of data, called training data, to act as a baseline for further application and utilization. This data is the foundation for the program’s growing library of information.

What is a test set?

  • Once a model is trained on a training set, it’s usually evaluated on a test set. Oftentimes, these sets are taken from the same overall dataset, though the training set should be labeled or enriched to increase an algorithm’s confidence and accuracy.

How should you split up a dataset into test and training sets

  • Generally, training data is split up more or less randomly, while making sure to capture important classes you know up front. For example, if you’re trying to create a model that can read receipt images from a variety of stores, you’ll want to avoid training your algorithm on images from a single franchise. This will make your model more robust and help prevent it from overfitting.

How much training data is enough?

  • There’s really no hard-and-fast rule around how much data you need. Different use cases, after all, will require different amounts of data. Ones where you need your model to be incredibly confident (like self-driving cars) will require vast amounts of data, whereas a fairly narrow sentiment model that’s based off text necessitates far less data. As a general rule of thumb though, you’ll need more data than you’re assuming you will.

What is the difference between training data and big data?

  • Big data and training data are not the same thing. Gartner calls big data “high-volume, high-velocity, and/or high-variety” and this information generally needs to be processed in some way for it to be truly useful. Training data, as mentioned above, is labeled data used to teach AI models or machine learning algorithms.


See what Appen can do for you

We provide data collection services to improve machine learning at scale. As a global leader in our field, our clients benefit from our capability to quickly deliver large volumes of high-quality data across multiple data types, including image, video, speech, audio, and text for your specific AI program needs.

Find out how reliable training data can give you the confidence to deploy AI. Contact us to speak with an expert.

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