Know all about Supervised and Unsupervised Learning for Data Science!

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Mar 05, 2022

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While studying machine learning, you must have come across the subtype of machine learning or artificial intelligence- Supervised learning. This is one of the most common types of learning that is found in machine learning and there are various advantages of using it. Along with this, you are going to hear about unsupervised learning in machine learning. So to make sure that you are very clear about the two most important concepts of machine learning, we not only have discussed these two kinds of learning in brief in the article below but also explained various key differences between these two. You will be able to sharpen your knowledge when you finish reading this article. We know machine learning is making rounds in the market and has become a hot topic. There are so many data science online training courses that are available for students who want to learn data science and make a career in it. So with this page, you will hone your skills, learn about supervised and unsupervised learning and start your training on a good note.

What is Supervised Learning?

Supervised learning in machine learning follows the approach of using labeled data sets that have the ability to predict the outcome that is the target. Using the algorithms in this kind of learning, the machine is going to learn from the labeled data being provided and used to predict the outcomes that are used for the unforeseen data. The major thing to note in this kind of learning is that in this, the data is well labeled and the machine is going to learn to use that data in a defined manner. The data is going to be tagged with the desired answers. If we explain this, it is basically machine learning to use the data in the presence of the supervisor or the teacher. With time, the labels and correct inputs and outputs can help the machine to give more accurate results and give desired results.

Using this algorithm the models need to find the mapping function which will use the variable X that is put into the machine as an input to find the desired output from the function, i.e. Y variable. Now let’s see how this works actually:

There is so much to learn in supervised and unsupervised learning but in supervised learning, there are training sets that are the combination of desired results. It contains the inputs that are used to find the desired output and this helps the system to learn faster. The system will come up with a function that is used to map the desired output from the given set of inputs from the training set. The function that is able to give accurate results is adopted and that algorithm is being used for various purposes. Over time, the errors are being adjusted and accuracy is achieved.

Types of Supervised Learning in Machine Learning:


In this type of supervised learning, the data sets are being classified into the groups to which they belong most closely. In this, the inputs in the data sets are being labeled and their specific features are used to group them together. The output variables are put into categories in this model and then more accurate results are being drawn from the same. There are various kinds of classification learning algorithms that are being used by data scientists. The common types are K-Nearest neighbor, super vector machines, decision trees, random forest and much more. If you wish to learn more about them and also dive deep into the examples of supervised and unsupervised learning, then you can visit the top common algorithms examples.


If you are looking for the algorithms that are used to make projections from a given set of data, then using regression kind of learning in machine learning can be very beneficial. In this, the model learns to develop the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The single output is being predicted from the given set of training data. An example of this can be the sales revenue or the projects for the quarter in any company. In this, the data is already available from the past. Some common types of regression that are used by data scientists include linear regression, logistic regression, and polynomial regression. These kinds of models are very helpful when the model needs to predict the numerical values from the given data entries in the training sets.

Advantages of Supervised Learning:

One of the major advantages of using supervised learning is that using this model, you are able to predict the outcomes from the previously available data sets.  The data can be collected or predicted for the outcome.

The main task while using the machine learning algorithm is to attain maximum accuracy. With a supervised set of data, with time, that accuracy can be achieved in a great manner.

Also, while using supervised learning, the data scientists are able to resolve the issues that are more closely related to the real-world computational problems, and that too with great accuracy.

Challenges and Best Practices of Supervised Learning:

From supervised and unsupervised learning, one of the major challenges that data scientists have to face in supervised learning is the inaccuracy of the input data sets. This could result in getting inaccurate results for the desired outcome. So the best way to overcome these issues is to always make sure that the input data is well refined and relevant. Always decide what kind of data is needed beforehand.

Another great challenge is the pre-processing and preparation of the data that is going to be used in the training set. For this, the team should be able to come up with an algorithm or the method to use the right set of data in the model.

With the right data that you are going to use, the algorithm is going to give great results, so always have data for the outcome from the experience or the human interaction. You can learn about supervised learning in a Data Science Course online.

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What is Unsupervised Learning?

Now that we have a fair understanding of what supervised learning is, it will be easier for us to know about unsupervised learning. As the name here suggests, in this the data sets are unsupervised and they are directed to come up with the way to give the desired outcome. In this, the model is going to find the patterns or the insights from the hidden sets of given data and works well in that direction. In this, no supervision is given and the model will come up with a function from the unlabelled data sets.

Basically, in this, the machine learns to identify the pattern since there is no desired outcome from the data given. The correlations and relationships are generated. The data and information collected from this gradually become very useful as well as accurate. There are two types of unsupervised learning:

Clustering: Using this, the clusters are created from similar kinds of information. In this, the same kind of information is being grouped in one cluster. The information from the cluster will vary. Using this, the data is segregated and results are optioned for similar kinds of data sets.

Association:  In this type of learning, a method is being developed which is used for finding the relationships between the various variables in the large data sets. Using this, the data scientists are able to find the set of items that are occurring together in the given dataset. One of the major applications of this kind of learning is in coming up with a marketing strategy. Using this, the market analysis can be done very effectively.

Dimension Reduction: In this, the data is reduced and the important information is kept so that it is used to come to an outcome. There are various methods that are used for this kind of learning which you will learn in the Data Science Course.

Advantages of Unsupervised Learning:

As mentioned above, in supervised learning, there is a lot of time that is spent when the data is being collected and pre-processed. The time that is used in preparing the labeled data can be saved here and with the use of unsupervised learning, the process can become faster.

From supervised and unsupervised learning, in unsupervised learning, it becomes easier to label the data sets as after the griping it becomes easier to label them.

If you are looking to find a pattern in the given set of data, this is the best technique you can. With dimension reduction, better results can be achieved with accuracy.

This kind of learning is more close to human intelligence and with time, the models come up with an algorithm that can have a better experience and great accuracy.

Challenges of Unsupervised Learning:

Although there are numerous benefits of using unsupervised learning in machine learning, it comes with some challenges that are mentioned below:

There is a high volume of data that is used as it is not pre-processed, so it becomes very hard sometimes to come up with the computation data that is relevant to the problem.

Due to this, there is a long time for training as compared to other methods of learning in machine learning.

In this kind of method, human interaction is required for accurate results. Also, there is a lack of transparency when the data is being clustered.

Know the Difference Between Supervised and Unsupervised Learning

In the below part, we are going to understand the difference between supervised learning and unsupervised learning based on various parameters:


One of the major differences between supervised and unsupervised learning is that in supervised training, both the input and output variables are given. But in an unsupervised learning model, only the input variables are given.

Input data

In supervised learning, the input data is going to be labeled but when we talk about unsupervised learning, the input data is not going to be labeled. The algorithms that are used in this are not labeled in any manner.

Computationally complexity

Supervised learning is a bit easier than unsupervised as the data here is going to be labeled and more processed. So the computational complexity is more with unsupervised learning.


As in supervised learning, the data is going to be pre-processed and the right data is going in to find the model, the accuracy is more in supervised learning. This is more trustworthy than unsupervised learning.

Number of classes

In supervised learning, the number of classes is known but this is not the case with unsupervised learning. This is one of the major differences in supervised and unsupervised learning.

Algorithms used

There are various examples of the algorithms that are used in supervised algorithm learning like the random forest, decision trees, linear and logistic regression, K-nearest neighbor. In unsupervised learning, the examples are- cluster algorithms, hierarchical clustering etc.

Real-time of learning

In supervised learning, the learning time for the model is offline as the input and output variables are provided to come up with the function. But if we look at unsupervised learning, there is real-time learning for the model to know the insight or the pattern in the given set of input data.

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Machine learning has become one of the major areas of interest among data scientists with supervised and unsupervised learning and there are new inventions and discoveries going on every day. In this article, you have learned all about supervised as well unsupervised learning and then, later on, found out about supervised vs unsupervised learning. Both these types are very useful if you want to have a career in this file. Learning algorithms are very important and you should make sure that if you are going to enter this world of Data Science, you should clear your concepts and have a thirst for knowledge. You will learn more about the various examples of these learning and how to implement them in real-world problems.

If this article about supervised and unsupervised learning has intrigued your interest and you want to learn more about the key concepts of data science then you should head straight to the data science online course with StarAgile. Here you are going to learn all about the examples and working of machine learning, Big Data, and much more. If you wish to have Data Science Certification, then this is the right time and place to start with your dream. You are going to find the best teachers to learn from and then have a better approach to your dream career.

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