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Use Of Databricks to Generate Synthetic Data with Generative AI

Dr. Jagreet Kaur Gill | 25 October 2023

Synthetic Data with Generative AI and Databricks


The demand for large and diverse datasets is more significant in today's data-driven world. These datasets are essential for training machine learning models, conducting research, and testing applications. However, obtaining real-world data can be challenging due to privacy concerns, data scarcity, or other limitations. This is where Generative AI and platforms like Databricks come to the rescue, enabling organizations to create synthetic data that mimics accurate data for various use cases. This blog will explore using Databricks to generate synthetic data with Generative AI.

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI is a subfield of artificial intelligence that trains models to generate new data sets. It is commonly used to generate images, text, and to generate data for data synthesis. One of the most widely used Generative Artificial Intelligence models is the GAN. A GAN is made up of two neural networks, the generator and the discriminator. In a GAN, the generator generates synthetic data, and the discriminator verifies that the generated data is real. These networks go through a training process where the generator attempts to generate data that is indistinguishable from real data.

Synthetic data provides promising tools to improve fairness, bias and the robustness of machine learning systems, but significantly more research is required to fully understand the opportunities and the limitations of this approach.

Use Cases for Synthetic Data

Privacy Preservation: Synthetic data can be used in cases where real data contains sensitive data, such as health records or financial data. Synthetic data protects privacy by removing personally identifiable information while preserving the statistical characteristics of the original data. 
Testing and Development: Software developers and data scientists can use synthetic data for testing and developing applications when data is unavailable or cannot be used due to data privacy regulations.
Model Training: When training machine learning models, having a diverse and large dataset is crucial. Synthetic data can augment real data or generate entirely new datasets for training.
Research and Analysis: Synthetic data is valuable for academic and research purposes, allowing researchers to simulate scenarios and perform experiments without relying on real-world data.

Customers use Databricks to process, store, clean, share, analyze, model, and monetize their datasets with solutions from BI to machine learning. Use the Databricks platform to build and deploy data engineering workflows, machine learning models, analytics dashboards, and more. 

Steps to Generate Synthetic Data with Databricks and Generative AI

Databricks is an open-source, cross-platform analytics platform that empowers data engineers, data scientists, and machine learning professionals to work together. Databricks provides a comprehensive suite of tools and libraries that enable Generative AI and the generation of synthetic data. Here's a step-by-step guide to generating synthetic data with Databricks:

Data Preparation

Import your actual data into Databricks.
Anonymize and preprocess the data to remove any sensitive information.

Choose a Generative AI Model

Select a Generative AI model suitable for your data type (e.g., GANs for images, text-based models like OpenAI's GPT for text data).

Model Training

Train the Generative AI model using your preprocessed data. Databricks provides GPU support for accelerated training.

Data Generation

Use the trained model to generate synthetic data. The quality and diversity of the generated data depend on the model's training and the amount of data available.

Data Evaluation

Validate the synthetic data by comparing it to actual data using statistical metrics and visualization techniques to ensure it retains the characteristics of the original data.

Data Usage

Integrate synthetic data into your projects, research, or applications, respecting data privacy and regulatory compliance.

Benefits of Using Databricks for Synthetic Data Generation

Scalability: Databricks allow for scalable data generation, making it suitable for large datasets and high-performance Generative AI models.
Collaboration: Databricks offers a collaborative workspace, making it easy for data scientists and engineers to work together on synthetic data projects.
Performance: Databricks provides GPU support for training and generating data, significantly speeding up the process.
Integration: The synthetic data generated in Databricks can be seamlessly integrated with other data processing and analysis tools within the platform.


Generative AI and platforms like Databricks to generate synthetic data are becoming increasingly important in various industries. For privacy preservation, testing, research, or model training, synthetic data is a valuable resource. By following the steps, organizations can harness the power of Generative AI and Databricks to create synthetic data that meets their specific needs while ensuring data privacy and regulatory compliance. This approach addresses data limitations and accelerates the development of AI and machine learning applications.