How to Choose the Right Data Labeling Tool for Your Machine Learning Project

As an AI enthusiast, you are probably well aware of the importance of quality data labeling when it comes to machine learning. It's essential to have accurate and relevant data to train your AI models to perform optimally. Data labels help your machines understand the context of the data which they are processing.

However, the process of data labeling can be quite laborious and time-consuming. This is why leveraging the right data labeling tool is crucial for your machine learning project.

How do you choose the right data labeling tool? In this article, we will guide you through the factors that you should consider when choosing a data labeling tool for your project.

Consider Your Data Type and Quality

What type of data are you working with? Is it structured or unstructured? Will the data labeling tool you choose be able to handle it? These are important considerations when selecting a data labeling tool.

For example, some data labeling tools specialize in NLP tasks, while others are better suited for visual data labeling like images, videos, and audio files. You should ensure the tool you select meets the requirement of the data to be labeled.

You should also consider the quality of the data. A tool that can iteratively correct label errors over time is valuable as no one can be perfect.

Test with a Small Dataset Before Committing

It's advisable to test the data labeling tool with a small dataset before committing to it. Preferably the dataset should be similar to the real-world data you will be working with. A small dataset will allow you to evaluate the tool's functionalities and calculate the time it takes to label a portion of the data.

Testing with a small dataset will have revealed shortcomings the tool might have. Check if the tool has the capacity to perform desired tasks.

Also, check if the tool automates the labeling process. Automated labeling will significantly reduce the workload on the staff and speed up the data labeling process.

Consider the User Experience

Your team's ease of use is also an important consideration to take when choosing a data labeling tool. A user-friendly tool will help ease the personnel's workload and increase the team's productivity. If the labeling process is frustrating or significantly complex, team members may make errors, leading to low-quality labels or may leave the job.

Ensure the tool you choose has some interactive elements that allow the team to collaborate on the labeling task. It is also advisable to choose data labeling tools that allow labeling to be done remotely, allowing smooth running of projects without high overhead costs.

Check for Integrations

A data labeling tool that integrates with other tools in your workflow can save time and avoid errors. A well-integrated tool eliminates duplicated work and the need to transfer data between different systems regularly. Test if the data labeling tool you are considering integrates smoothly with the environment you intend to use it in.

Budget Considerations

Cost is a significant factor you should consider when comparing different data labeling tools. Each tool has its pricing model, and you may want to find one that meets your budgetary guidelines.

You must ask about the tool's cost, particularly if it needs a team to operate it. Check if the pricing model is per hour, per image or if there's a subscription cost, and if free trials are available.


Security risks are also important factors to consider when choosing a data labeling tool. You must ensure the tool you choose meets the necessary security standards and regulations for the type of data you will be dealing with.

Ensure the tool offers data privacy and protection for any confidential data being processed. Test the tool to see if the labeling panels require authentication before access as it prevents unauthorized personnel from editing the data during the label process.

Data Labeling Tool Options

There are several data labeling tools available on the market, and we will take a brief look at a few of them to understand how they work and what they have to offer.


LabelBox is a popular data labeling tool, particularly for computer vision projects. Labelbox users upload images or videos and label the objects present in them. Labelbox also allows you to organize labels, and you can use its collaborative features to work with your team.

Labelbox charges its users based on the number of labels created, so the cost of using LabelBox may scale up rapidly for extensive datasets. However, users can access extensive guides available on the site and can learn from sample projects.

Additionally, LabelBox integrates with deployable machine learning architecture like TensorFlow, PyTorch, and AWS Sagemaker.


Supervisely is an end-to-end platform that offers annotation of visual data accessible to the staff. Supervisely has several plugins and tools that allow it to support conventional annotation tasks, anomaly detection, and pixel-level labeling. Additionally, the tool supports a variety of image and video types and a library of pre-trained model architectures.

Supervisely's pricing model is customizable to suit different budgets, and you can control the number of instances and apply limits to the labeling time.

Supervisely connects with deep learning infrastructure like TensorFlow, DarkNet, and PyTorch.

Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth

Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth is a data labeling tool used for structured and unstructured data. With its labeling interface, the tool allows you to build and customize data labeling workflows.

Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth can interactively and automatically label your data using machine learning to speed up the data labeling process. Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth pricing model is simple, you pay only for the time used to label the data, and it is compatible with different workflows.


Data labeling is a crucial stage in machine learning projects, and hiring a team to undertake the job can be costly and time-consuming. Choosing the right data labeling tool can save your team time, reduce costs, and increase productivity.

You should consider your team's experience and expertise, the tools' compatibility with your workflow and data, your budget, and security needs before making a choice. Testing the tools before investing in them can give you an insight into how they work and help you make an informed choice.

The tools we've discussed are only a tip on a giant iceberg, and there are several other options available. Ensure you choose one that meets your project requirements and aligns with your budget. In conclusion, to have a successful machine learning project, you need the right data labeling tool, a robust deep learning infrastructure, and high-quality labeled data.

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