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August 30, 2022

Top 3 data annotation tools - free and paid in 2023

August 30, 2022

Your AI project's success or failure will be determined by the data annotation tools you employ to enrich your data for training and deploying machine learning models. 

What is data annotation?

The process of labeling data to show the results you want your machine learning model to forecast is called data annotation in machine learning. You're marking up a dataset with the qualities you want your machine learning system to learn to recognize by labeling, tagging, transcribing, or processing it. 

What is a data annotation tool?

A data annotation tool is a solution that can be used to annotate industrial-grade training data for machine learning. It can be cloud-based, on-premise, or containerized. The following are essential features of data annotation software: Text, image, video, audio, time-series, and sensor data are all examples of data types that can be annotated with them. They support 2-D, 3-D, video, audio, transcription, and text annotation.

Important features of a data annotation tool.

1. Dataset management:

Annotation begins and ends with a thorough understanding of how to manage the dataset you're going to annotate. You must confirm that the tool you are contemplating will really import and support the large volume of data and file formats you need to label as a crucial element of your process. Datasets can be searched, filtered, sorted, cloned, and merged using this method.

2. Data quality control:

The quality of your data will determine the performance of your machine learning and AI models. Quality control (QC) and verification processes can be made easier with data annotation tools. Ideally, the tool will include quality control as part of the annotation process.

3. Data security:

Whether you're annotating sensitive protected personal information or your own valuable intellectual property, you'll want to keep your data secure. Tools should restrict data downloads and limit an annotator's viewing rights to data not assigned to them.

Tips for selecting a data annotation tool

1. Figure out what you're going to use it for: First and foremost, the type of data you wish to annotate as well as your work procedures will influence your tool selection. Text, image, and video can all be labeled with tools. Video labeling is possible with some image labeling software. As a result, select a tool based on your objectives.

2. What are the requirements for quality control?

Your data annotation tool should also take into account how you wish to measure and control quality. Quality control (QC) elements are included into many commercially accessible tools, and they can review, provide feedback, and correct activities.

3. Workforce training: Whether your data is annotated by employees or contractors, crowdsourcing, or an outsourcing provider, your workforce will need access to and training to use your data annotation tool, with specific instructions particular to your use case.

3 free data annotation tools

1. Computer Vision Annotation Tool (CVAT):

CVAT is a web-based, free, open-source annotation tool that can be used to annotate image and video data for computer vision algorithms.

It has a dashboard with a list of annotation projects and tasks, as well as interpolation of shapes between keyframes, shortcuts for the most important activities, and a dashboard with a list of annotation projects and tasks. The primary tasks of supervised machine learning are supported by CVAT. Object identification, image classification, and image segmentation are all things that can be done with images.

2. Kili Technology :

Kili Technology is a labeling platform for training data. Kili Technology offers one tool to label, find and fix issues, simplify DataOps, and dramatically accelerate the build of reliable AI.

Kili Technology offers 3 plans for these customers, a free offer limited to 5 users and 1000 annotations per month and two paid plans from 20 000 to 500 000 annotations included as well as the addition of an external work force. Kili Technology and isahit are main partners, Kili is isahit's main technological partner, and conversely, isahit provides Kili with a diversified, competent and committed workforce.

3. Labelstudio :

Labelsudio is a flexible data labeling tool for all data types. Prepare training data for computer vision, natural language processing, speech, voice, and video models.

3 paid data annotation tools

1. Labelbox

Labelbox's training data platform is designed to assist you in improving your training data iteration loop. It's built around three main pillars: the ability to annotate data, diagnose model performance, and prioritize tasks based on your findings. By using the latest in labeling automation, you can reduce annotation costs by 50-80%, iterate 3 times quicker on your AI data to construct more performant models, and work more efficiently with data scientists, labelers, and domain experts with Labelbox.

2. Scale

Scale is a data platform to annotate enormous amounts of 3D sensor, picture, and video data. This data annotation tool supports several data formats and can be used for a range of computer vision applications, such as object detection, classification, and text recognition. Its advanced LiDAR, image, video and NLP annotation APIs allow machine learning teams at companiesto focus on building differentiated models vs. labeling data.

3. V7

V7 is an automated annotation platform that combines dataset management, image and video annotation, and autoML model training to perform labeling tasks automatically. V7 allows teams to store, manage, annotate, and automate data annotation operations in pictures, video, medical data, microscopy images, PDF and document processing, and other formats.

Want to explore more tools? We share with you this curated list of data labeling tools !

Scale your digital annotation projects with a highly trained workforce

In-house annotation can limit you in terms of volume and create some bias in annotation.

Today, data labeling companies can make all the difference in the training of your algorithms: by training and coaching a diverse, competent and committed workforce supported and challenged by a project team that follows the quality of the annotations and monitors your projects daily.

Moreover, outsourcing your annotations can also be an opportunity for the company to generate a positive social impact among the annotators! Isahit is the first and only player in the industry to offer an agile, socially responsible data labeling service powered by human intelligence.

They build, train and deploy a customized and diverse workforce on their clients' digital projects: data labeling, algorithm training, etc. while generating a real positive impact with their workforce: an additional income 5x higher than the average in their country, free trainings and a caring community to lean on. BCorp certified since 2021, isahit is revolutionizing the world of data tagging and outsourcing by making it ethical.


Your data annotation tool's sophistication and features have an impact on how you and your data team plan workflow, quality control, and many other areas of your data work. A tool that does not address your workforce and processes will cost you time and efficiency in the form of workarounds for features you wish were inherent to the product. Before choosing your tool, be sure to check the tool's functionality and define your needs! And if you want to scale up your annotation projects, use an external, competent and committed workforce (with ethics)!

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