Synthetic Data – Short Explanation

Any information that has been created artificially and does not accurately reflect events or things in the real world is considered Synthetic Data. Synthetic data produced by algorithms is utilized in model datasets for validation or training. In order to test or train machine learning (ML) models, synthetic data can simulate operational or production data.

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Advantages of Synthetic Data

Real or artificial data doesn’t matter to data professionals. The qualities, balance, and bias of the data—their traits and patterns—are what actually count. Your ability to refine and enhance your data with synthetic data unlocks a number of significant advantages.

  • Increased Quality of Data

    Real-world data is not only expensive but also difficult to obtain. However, it is subject to bias, errors, and other flaws that might negatively affect the accuracy of your machine learning model.
    Due to synthetic data generation, there is a better quality, diversity, and balance of data.

  • Privacy Concerns of Handling Sensitive Data

    When storing, distributing, and annotating Personally Identifying Information (PII) or other types of sensitive data, the collection of real-world datasets is frequently connected with significant privacy hazards. In these cases, creating datasets using synthetic data can be a practical way to do so while maintaining the statistical features needed to train and test a model without having direct access to sensitive information.

  • Cost and Speed of Data Acquisition

    Real-world data collection is typically time-consuming and expensive.
    Synthetic data synthesis is reasonably quick and affordable to generate in large quantities.


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Types of Synthetic Data

Synthetic data is broadly classified into three categories:

  1. Fully Synthetic Data

    This data is purely synthetic and contains no raw data. If only a small portion of the real data’s features are chosen to be replaced by synthetic data, the protected series of those features is then mapped to the remaining real data’s features in order to rank the protected and real series in the same order. Bootstrap approaches and multiple imputations are two examples of traditional techniques that can be used to generate totally synthetic data. This method has great privacy protection with a fallback on the veracity of the data because the data is entirely synthetic and no real data exists.

  2. Partially Synthetic Data

    Only some selected sensitive feature values are replaced with synthetic values in this dataset. In this scenario, the actual values are only changed if there is a substantial risk of disclosure. Privacy in the newly generated data is maintained by doing this.

  3. Hybrid Synthetic Data

    Both genuine and artificial data are used to generate this dataset. A similar record from the synthetic data is chosen for each random actual data record, and both are then mixed to create hybrid data. Benefits of both fully and partially synthetic data are offered. Hence, it is well renowned for offering good privacy preservation with greater utility than the other two, but at the cost of additional memory and processing time.

How Can Synthetic Data Help Computer Vision?

In computer vision, images that are created by algorithms rather than being photographed are referred to as “synthetic data.” Typically, these photos are produced to train artificial intelligence (AI) models. When compared to real data, using synthetic data has a number of benefits.

  • First, obtaining a lot of synthetic data is simpler than obtaining a lot of actual data.
  • Second, it is possible to create synthetic data with particular characteristics that are challenging to locate in actual data. For instance, it is possible to create images of things that are partially obscured from view, or occluded. For developing object identification models, this is helpful.
  • Controlled variations can be used to create synthetic data. By changing the color of the items in the photographs, for instance, it is implied that the generated data can be altered routinely. This is helpful for developing models that are resistant to aesthetic alterations.
  • Fourth, labels can be used to create artificial data. This implies that the image’s subject is named and identified, for instance, as a “vehicle,” a “lion,” or a “person.”

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Challenges of Synthetic Data

Besides a variety of benefits, there are some challenges with using synthetic data.

  • Lack of accuracy: The fact that synthetic data is frequently produced by computer algorithms, which are not necessarily reliable, presents a challenge. As a result, outcomes from using synthetic data might prove to be incorrect.
  • Dependency on the real data: The quality of synthetic data frequently depends on the dataset and real model that were generated for it. Many synthetic datasets that are produced in large quantities utilizing the original dataset can end up working ineffectively and occasionally even inaccurately in the absence of a suitable and high-quality genuine dataset.
  • Biased results: Due to its lack of variability and correlation, synthetic data can be deceptive, constrained, or discriminatory.

Applications of Synthetic Data

Artificially created data, also known as synthetic data, offers answers to issues like data privacy and limited data size that are frequently faced in data science applications. Here is a list of the capabilities and most typical applications for synthetic data across many sectors, departments, and business units.

  • Fraud identification

    Fraud identification is a major part of any financial service. With synthetic fraud data, new fraud detection methods can be tested and evaluated for their effectiveness.

  • Healthcare analytics

    Healthcare data specialists can permit both internal and external use of record data while still protecting patient privacy due to synthetic data.

  • Training AI Models

    It is challenging to predict uncommon events like fraud or manufacturing flaws since limited data sets make ML models inaccurate. Accuracy of the model is increased by creating synthetic examples of similar situations.

  • Customer Analysis

    In order to analyze customer data and comprehend consumer behavior, synthetic customer transaction data may be used.


Synthetic data will transform the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). In order to create precise, extensible AI models, access to better annotated data might be a useful addition to or substitute for real data. Synthetic data can often be used to improve genuine data when coupled with it, hence reducing its flaws.

FAQs on Synthetic Data

What is Synthetic Data?

Synthetic data is artificial data that is generated from original data and a model that is trained to reproduce the characteristics and structure of the original data.

What are the types of Synthetic Data?

  1. Fully Synthetic Data
  2. Partially Synthetic Data
  3. Hybrid Synthetic Data

What are the benefits of synthetic data over real data?

Compared to real-world data, synthetic data generation is faster, more flexible, and more scalable.