Data Preparation for Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Data preparation for AI

AI makes processes possible that were unthinkable just a short time ago. The need for data preparation is especially apparent in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The quality and quantity of data are both critical factors in the success of any AI implementation. Inadequate data can lead to inaccurate results, while excess data can lead to processing delays and overfitting. As a result, organizations must take great care to ensure that their data is properly prepared for use in AI applications. This process often requires significant time and effort, but it is essential for ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of AI systems.

Consistent digitization with machine learning ensures more sales with modest effort — but only with intelligent data preparation. Find out how to make your data fit for AI here. We will explore the various steps involved in preparing data for AI purposes. We will also discuss some of the challenges involved in this process, as well as ways to overcome them. Finally, we will provide several tips for optimizing data preparation for AI implementations.

Table of Contents

What is Data Preparation in Artificial Intelligence?

Data preparation is an essential step in Artificial Intelligence models and algorithms. Essentially, it involves cleaning up raw data to create a dataset that is suitable for use in AI applications. It includes tasks such as normalizing the data, removing outliers or noisy data points, transforming the data into different formats, or reducing the data to a manageable size. The preparation of data for artificial intelligence also involves creating labels and categories for datasets, as well as preparing the data for transport into an AI algorithm or model.

Without proper data preparation, it’s impossible to create accurate and reliable Artificial Intelligence models. Data preparation is thus a crucial step for any AI project, no matter the size or complexity of the problem at hand. Proper data preparation can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to creating useful AI algorithms and models with real-world applications.

How Does Data Preparation Work?

Preparing data for artificial intelligence tools often accounts for up to 80 percent of the total workload involved in implementing AI systems. The more fragmented the data, or the more unstructured it is, the greater the time and effort required for the two steps involved in data preparation: Exporting and cleansing.

Data Export

The source of the problem is well known, especially in marketing, where data from different providers is available from a wide variety of sources. For instance:

  • Social media channels
  • Websites
  • Mobile applications
  • CRM
  • Mailings

Data Cleansing

When considering data for artificial intelligence, it can’t just be taken at face value. Gathering lots of data may sound great, however, it can come with its own problems. For instance:

  • Large amounts of data are available, but they do not cover the entire spectrum. There is for example no data regarding pre-sorted objects. But these are especially important for AI training and for insightful analytics.
  • But even a large spectrum does not guarantee data quality per se. This is because the respective rules of different data sets can ultimately reduce the amount of data in such a way that too little remains for artificial intelligence in the end.
  • While the different use of classes and hierarchies may be effective for users in a previously treated dataset, it can distort the data in the background. So even AI produces incorrect findings.

You can extract valuable data from all these tools and analyze it using artificial intelligence — as long as the providers of the programs offer effective options for data export. Automated interfaces (APIs) are the basis for clean and effective data export.

Technologies involved in Data Preparation

Machine learning uses data to identify structures and correlations. Using this as a basis, AI programs identify new solutions to deal with specific problems. But without sufficient input, there is no good output. Software based on artificial intelligence therefore needs data that is:

  • available in large quantities,
  • complete,
  • and, of good quality.

These three properties are the basis for the successful use of AI. In most cases, this means that the existing data must be verified. This is particularly important for Big Data from the Cloud. Generally speaking, there are three factors that stand for the good preparation of data for artificial intelligence: Storage, compatibility, and scope.


Backing up data at all times is fundamental. Of course, this means that programs for customer relationship management, including all marketing tools, must always be up to date. Companies use the Cloud for this — also as a security plus for in-house storage. This ensures that the most important KPIs or other useful data for artificial intelligence are not lost.

Important: If only parts of the relevant key figures for your business are lost, an AI system can draw the wrong conclusions. You should therefore ensure that your data is complete by storing it consistently.


You must be able to export the existing data. If you develop your own AI model for your company, you will need a smooth export. It is important to select a specific system at an early stage; it must have as many interfaces to powerful machine learning programs from other providers as possible. This will significantly speed up the work of AI systems.


Is less more? This wise saying does not apply to AI, at least not in terms of source material. When the quality and relevance of data for artificial intelligence from different vendors is accurate, the motto is: Do things in a big way. KPIs, for example, become more informative the further back they go in time. This reveals the historical development of processes, from which AI can draw lucrative conclusions. Even supposedly outdated information can offer great added value.

Importance of Data Preparation in Artificial Intelligence

The preparation of data for artificial intelligence is an important step in any successful AI project. Here are a few reasons why it is so:

Data Quality

Data preparation helps to ensure that the data used for your AI project is clean, accurate and up-to-date. This is especially important when dealing with large datasets as it will make sure that any faulty or irrelevant data is removed before the AI system begins its processing.

Data Transformation

When dealing with large datasets, it can be difficult to make sure that all of the data is in the correct format for your AI project. Data preparation helps to transform and normalize this data so that it can be used more effectively by the AI system.

Model Training

Data preparation is also essential for training AI models. Once data has been prepared, it can be used to build and train the model so that it can accurately make predictions from new input data.

Feature Selection

Data preparation helps analysts select important features from the dataset which are necessary for their AI project. This is especially important as selecting the wrong features can lead to poor results and inaccurate predictions.

Improved Performance and Scalability

By carefully preparing data, AI models can be more accurate and efficient in their predictions. This can lead to improved performance when compared to models which are trained on un-prepared data.

Cost Reduction and Time Savings

Data preparation can help to reduce overall costs associated with the AI project. By ensuring that only useful data is used, fewer resources will be required for the training and development of the models.

Data preparation helps to save time as it reduces the amount of manual effort required to clean and prepare datasets for use in an AI project. This means that more time can be spent on developing and testing the models.

Insight Generation and Improved Collaboration

By preparing data, it becomes easier to generate insights from datasets which may otherwise be difficult to analyze. This can help organizations make better decisions and understand customer behavior.

Data preparation helps to reduce the amount of effort required when collaborating with other teams on an AI project. By preparing data in advance, teams can more easily work together to build and train models with accurate predictions.

Steps Involved in Data Preparation Process in Artificial Intelligence

Data preparation process for Artificial Intelligence is one of the key steps for achieving good performance in AI tasks such as machine learning or natural language processing. The following are the important steps to ensure that data is properly prepared for use in AI:

  1. Data Collection: Collecting relevant data from various sources, both internal and external, is the first step in the data preparation process.
  2. Data Cleaning: After collection, data must be cleaned to remove any missing values, outliers or inconsistent information. This helps reduce noise and provides a more accurate representation of the data.
  3. Data Transformation: Transformations are necessary to ensure that data is in the right format for use in AI models. This includes changing categorical data into numerical form, normalizing continuous variables and other such operations to make the data more suitable for analysis.
  4. Outlier Detection: Outliers, or data points that are far away from the mean of the dataset, can negatively impact the performance of an AI model, so it’s important to detect and remove them.
  5. Data Augmentation: In order to increase the amount of data available for training and to improve the performance of AI models, it is often necessary to augment existing datasets with synthetic or generated data.
  6. Data Splitting: Once the data is cleaned and transformed, it needs to be divided into train and test sets in order to properly evaluate model performance.
  7. Dimensionality Reduction: High-dimensional datasets need to be reduced in order to speed up AI model training and reduce the risk of overfitting.

How to Automate Data Preparation for AI Systems?

Data preparation is one of the most important aspects in developing AI systems. After all, data is the foundation of any machine learning model and AI system. Here are some techniques you can use to automate the preparation of data for artificial intelligence :-

Automated Feature Engineering

This technique helps to extract features from the raw data which can be used for training machine learning algorithms. It does this by automatically creating new features or transforming existing features based on domain knowledge. The result is a dataset with improved accuracy and efficiency, leading to better performance of the AI system.

Automated Data Cleaning

This technique removes unnecessary or incorrect data, normalizes data and standardizes formats to make sure they are consistent across the dataset. This is important because it can prevent issues such as bias in the results of machine learning algorithms if there are discrepancies in the input data.

Automated Data Augmentation

This technique is used to increase the amount of data available for training by creating new data points using existing ones. It can be very useful in situations where there is a lack of sufficient data or when you need to create more accurate models.

Automated Anomaly Detection

This technique helps to detect any unusual patterns or data points in the dataset. This can be useful for detecting outliers or errors and ensuring that they do not adversely affect the results of AI models.

Automated Feature Selection

This technique helps to identify the most important features in a dataset, allowing you to focus on the ones that are more likely to improve accuracy and efficiency of your AI system.

Most Common Data Preparation Tasks in Artificial Intelligence

Data preparation tasks are essential for Artificial Intelligence systems to be able to process and analyze data sets effectively.

  1. Data Cleaning: This involves identifying any errors or discrepancies in the data set, such as duplicates, missing values, etc., and then correcting them.
  2. Data Transformation: Refers to the process of normalizing and transforming data from one format or structure into another. This allows AI systems to make sense of data in terms of its meaning and use.
  3. Data Aggregation: Involves grouping multiple pieces of data together so that it can be analyzed as a single unit.
  4. Data Reduction: Refers to the process of eliminating redundant and irrelevant data that is not needed by AI systems for analysis purposes.
  5. Feature Engineering: This involves creating new features or attributes from existing data in order to enhance the accuracy of AI models and predictions.
  6. Feature Extraction: The process of extracting meaningful features from raw data sets that can be used to make predictions and decisions by AI systems.
  7. Data Visualization: This involves creating visual representations of data, such as graphs or charts, in order to better understand it and draw valuable insights.
  8. Data Integration: Refers to the process of combining data from multiple sources into a single unified data set that can be used for analysis by AI systems.

Data Preparation Challenges

Data preparation is perhaps the most important part of Artificial Intelligence (AI.) projects, yet it is also one of the most difficult. Poorly prepared data can lead to poor results from AI trained systems, models, and algorithms.

  1. Data Quality: Poorly formatted or dirty data can disrupt the accuracy of AI models and processing times, making data cleansing a necessary task prior to building an AI model.
  2. Missing Values: If there are significant gaps in the data due to missing values, it can influence the accuracy of any predictive models. Imputation or interpolation methods should be used on missing values so as not to compromise the accuracy of the model.
  3. Inconsistent Data: The inconsistencies in data such as different formats, scales and value types can cause issues with analysis and predictions. This requires careful inspection to identify and rectify these inconsistencies prior to any machine learning or AI modeling.
  4. Data Balancing: To ensure accuracy in predictions, data needs to be balanced so that the model does not focus too heavily on one class of data at the expense of the other.
  5. Data Visualization: To gain an understanding of the data, it’s important to be able to visualize it for easy interpretation and interpretation. This can also help in identifying any issues with the dataset or trends that could influence predictions.

Fortunately, there are strategies to combat challenges when preparing data for artificial intelligence. One is to make sure that all data sources are consistent by standardizing fields and values between different databases. This helps ensure that AI algorithms interpret the data correctly and don’t misinterpret one set of values as another.

Another strategy for successful data preparation is to ensure that all of the relevant variables are included in the datasets. This means making sure that all the data that is important to the AI. project is included in the dataset, and including any variables or features that might be relevant to the task at hand.

How to Choose the Right Data Preparation Techniques in Artificial Intelligence?

There are a variety of methods and tools available to preprocess data that can be used to enhance the accuracy, reliability, and speed of an AI system.

  1. Understand the problem: First, it is essential to understand the business requirement and the data set that is available for analysis. This will help you decide which techniques can be employed to prepare the data effectively.
  2. Identify potential issues: Look for any issues that can potentially affect the analysis. This could be anything from missing data points, inconsistent formats, irrelevant information or any other anomalies in the data set.
  3. Assess data volume: Factor in the amount of available data and its size when selecting appropriate techniques. Do you need to reduce it or compress it? Does the amount of data require distributed computing to process?
  4. Choose tools wisely: Different tools can have different results. Understand what each tool is designed for and pick one that fits your requirements.
  5. Standardize the data: It’s important for data to be in standardized formats. This will ensure that it can be interpreted accurately across different systems and tools.
  6. Document the process: It is recommended that you document each step in detail, as it will help inform future development and reduce the risk of errors when re-processing the data set. This will also help others understand how your analysis was conducted.

Best Practices for AI Data Preparation

Without proper preparation, models can be inaccurate and unreliable, so it’s essential to understand best practices when embarking on a new AI project. The following are the best practices for AI data preparation.

Assess the Quality of Data

The quality of data for an AI project is key, so it’s important to assess the state of the data before starting any work on it. This includes checking for missing values, outliers, and any other abnormalities which might cause problems in the data processing stage.

Select Relevant Data

It’s important to select the data that is most relevant to the AI project, as this will help make sure the models are accurate and reliable. Make sure to discard any irrelevant or redundant data so it doesn’t affect the results.

Clean the Data

Cleaning the data involves removing any invalid values, correcting errors and inconsistencies, filling in missing values or outliers, and standardizing the data. This will ensure that no unnecessary issues are affecting the models during training.

Transform and Scale Data

Before using the data for AI purposes , it’s important to transform and scale it in order to make sure that the values are within a specific range and consistent. This helps ensure more accurate results from the models.

Store and Update Data

Once the data is prepared, it should be stored in a secure and reliable place in order to ensure easy access during future AI projects. Additionally, it’s important to regularly update the data in order to incorporate changes and make sure that the models are working with accurate data.

Applied Machine Learning Process in Data Preparation

Data preparation is a key step in the machine learning process. It involves transforming raw data for artificial intelligence into formats suitable for analysis, cleaning and validating data, and identifying any potential issues or errors. This helps ensure that the resulting model is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date.

In this stage of the process, it’s important to take the time to explore data, ask questions and look for patterns. Doing so can help uncover insights that may not be immediately obvious from simply looking at a spreadsheet or other representation of the data. It can also reveal relationships between different elements of the dataset that could be useful in modeling.

Once any issues have been identified, it’s time to make the necessary corrections. This could involve removing any data points that are inconsistent with the rest of the dataset or combining different datasets so they can be used together. It’s also important to ensure any missing values are replaced with appropriate estimates or averages, and outliers are removed if they don’t represent a meaningful portion of the data.

Data preparation also involves making sure the data is in a format that can be used in machine learning. This includes normalizing the dataset, transforming it into something more suitable for modeling (such as converting categorical variables to numerical ones), and scaling features so they all have similar ranges and weights.

Optimize your AI training data – clickworker supports you in data preparation; evaluates, categorizes and labels existing data sets.


Digitization often fails because of inadequate data preparation, rather than because of insufficient AI tools. Therefore, preparing data is not an end in itself. When used in sensitive areas, for example in industry, AI tools require high-quality data — if only for security reasons. Therefore, before implementing a training system, it is important to check

  • where the data are secured,
  • that they are exportable,
  • that they are consistent,
  • and that the quality of the data is high.

Having too few data sets will not be enough to generate effective results. Especially in the case of KPIs, it is more reasonable in case of doubt, to make all existing historical data available to the AI. Even if they seem outdated at first glance.

FAQs on Data Preparation

What is Data Preparation for Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Data preparation for AI is the process of cleaning, organizing, and transforming raw data into a format that can be easily understood and used by AI algorithms. This is a crucial step to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of AI models.

Why is Data Preparation important for AI?

Data preparation is crucial because the performance of AI models is heavily dependent on the quality of the data they are trained on. If the data is inaccurate, incomplete, or biased, the AI model's predictions may also be flawed, which could lead to incorrect conclusions or decisions.

What are some steps involved in Data Preparation for AI?

Steps in data preparation typically include data collection, data cleaning (removing inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and duplicates), data integration (combining data from different sources), data transformation (converting data into a suitable format for the AI model), and data reduction (removing irrelevant data).

How time-consuming is the Data Preparation process?

The time taken for data preparation can vary widely depending on the volume of data, its complexity, and the specific requirements of the AI model. In many projects, data preparation is the most time-consuming step, often taking up to 80% of the total project time.

Can Data Preparation for AI be automated?

es, there are tools and software available that can automate many aspects of the data preparation process, such as data cleaning and transformation. However, human oversight is often still needed to ensure the quality and relevance of the prepared data.


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