In-House or Outsource: Which Data Annotating Team To Choose and Why

Mar 2, 2023

Generally, it is better to outsource to a trusted data annotation services provider. They already have expert teams and systems and know which are the best data labeling tools. They should even be able to help you with things like data collection.

It is true that for some data annotation projects, it may be better to keep in-house as much as possible. If the task is important but simple enough, you can always try to do it yourself. On the other hand, it is far better to outsource your data labeling if it is a complicated task. Of course, you may not even realize that it really is very complicated until you’ve already tried it.

You should realize that just because someone else makes something look easy does not mean that it really is easy. They likely have the skills, experience, and tools to make it look that way. It can look easy because they are experts and good at what they do, and you don't understand the effort it takes them.

Keeping things in-house can improve your data security. No third-party companies are involved, and fewer people need to be trusted to keep secrets safe.

annotation team
Annotation team | Keymakr

Of course, that point is moot anyway if you opt to use just any random free or cheap online image labeling tool you happen to find. It is probably a scam if it is too good to be true. Same for if you have any part of it on hardware with any internet connection. There are always security risks if you bring anyone in on your project from the outside.

Keeping everything in-house like that is a significant investment.  It can be costly to build out all of your own infrastructure, and it takes a lot of electricity to run too. It can take up a lot of time, money, and resources to do. Accurate data labeling takes a large, well-trained team of employees. That means training them, which also takes time and money.

It may still make sense when you have some things in place. However, staying in-house might also be better if you use some proprietary technology that those outside your company will not be familiar with.

Common Problems and Outsourcing Solutions

  • Trust issues - Use a reputable company with good cybersecurity and regulatory compliance
  • Expensive infrastructure and staff training on machine learning data labeling tools -Outsource to a company that already has teams of experts and the infrastructure in place.
  • Deadlines- Outsourcing to a good data annotation company can save you time.
  • Management-Outsourcing your data annotation frees you to work on your other goals.
  • Outsourcing to the experts allows them to troubleshoot common problems.
Keylabs Demo

Outsourcing Is Better

If you choose a trusted company and the online labeling tool you decide to use has proper cybersecurity, you are unlikely to have any problems. Instead, you'll have a lot more solutions. For example, they'll already have the infrastructure in place and teams of experts.

You can often find a contract that costs much less than you would pay trying to do it all in-house.

Certainly, outsourcing provides you more flexibility to choose a price that fits your budget. If you are reasonable about your expectations, you can make good choices that save you time and money without sacrificing quality or precision accuracy.

Outsourcing doesn't come with any training costs because they will already have teams of experts with the best data labeling tools. Expert data annotators will be able to adapt quickly to your project. In addition, they can avoid problems and have the experience to help troubleshoot any problems with the data set.

Deployment is much faster as they'll have the image labeling tools and infrastructure. If you go with a trusted company, they'll already have excellent security protocols. They'll honor standard non-disclosure agreements. They'll also be able to work within regulatory requirements for things like medical data.

There are many good reasons why leaving it to the experts by outsourcing your data annotation project is better. However, these are only some of them. Whether to keep everything in-house or outsource is a big decision. You should choose to do what is right for your project.


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