Synthetic Data

What is synthetic data

Data is being generated at an exponential rate in the digital age. Many firms are attempting to capitalize on so-called “big data,” but are they data professionals – such as banks, telecom operators, retailers, and so on – or are they newcomers marketing themselves as big data experts?

These actors create particular software and scripts that calculate useful metrics on the raw data to exploit and extract value from it. The program must be tested and the findings verified, as well as the performance benchmarked and the robustness to unpredictable data claimed.

  • Synthetic data is information that has all of the properties of real data but does not contain any sensitive information. In most cases, synthetic data is created to validate mathematical models. This information is used to compare the behavior of real data to that predicted by the model.

Test data and proper data

If one tests data software with real data, there is a high possibility they will face legal repercussions, as privacy regulations throughout the world are getting increasingly tight. Huge data players face a relatively new need: synthetic data, to take benefit of big data without breaking any regulations.

What’s the big deal? Again, just as a scientist may need to create synthetic material to perform low-risk studies, a data scientist may need to create synthetic or false data that has the same or nearly the same attributes as the actual thing at some time.

How is he able to achieve that? It isn’t a simple task. The more characteristics in a dataset, the more difficult it is to replicate comparable data and the more processing power is required. It is unavoidable to make a cost-quality trade-off.

Benefits of synthetic data

For business people, creating data that looks like the actual thing may appear to be a terrific playground. If they can duplicate datasets, they can run simulations to forecast customer behavior and, as a result, devise winning methods! Unfortunately, the reality isn’t quite as thrilling, because, as previously said, synthetic models only reproduce key data features. They can’t exactly match a dataset; they can only imitate general tendencies.

What you can model is always a constraint. However, there are some significant advantages to utilizing synthetic data. For starters, it might be beneficial for visualizing and testing the scalability and resilience of novel algorithms. This is essential for anyone working with large data applications. Second, the signs that arise may be widely disseminated, frequently as open data. As a result, it adds to the community’s overall knowledge of big data and algorithms.


  • Synthetic data is a valuable technique for securely sharing data for evaluating algorithm scalability and the latest software efficiency. 

It cannot, however, be utilized for research because it only seeks to reproduce particular data qualities. Producing high-quality synthetic data is tough because the more intricate the system becomes, the more difficult it becomes to keep track of all the qualities that must be comparable to actual data.

The introduction of stricter privacy legislation is forcing data owners to prepare for limited access to sensitive data (including their own!). Simulating actual data is becoming increasingly important as big data techniques become more widely used.

Applications of synthetic data

  • To quickly produce new data that statistically resembles the initial raw data using machine learning (ML).
  • To construct big datasets by extrapolating information from smaller datasets.
  • It provides data privacy by decoupling the information included in a record from its source.
  • Information security — synthetic data can be used to fill honeypots with fictitious data that is convincing enough to entice attackers.
  • Synthetic data may be used in quality assurance (QA) to test code modifications in software development.