Home Glossary Item Pre-Processing
« Back to Glossary Index

Pre-processing is a preliminary stage in any production or analysis pipeline, where initial input is prepared or conditioned to optimize it for the subsequent stages. The essence of pre-processing lies in its ability to transform raw input into a more manageable, efficient, or suitable form, so that the following processes can run more smoothly or yield better results.


In the context of data science and machine learning, pre-processing includes a suite of techniques applied to raw data before it is used in model training. These may involve cleaning data, dealing with missing values, normalizing numeric values to fall within a certain range, encoding categorical variables into numerical form, or even reducing high-dimensionality data into fewer dimensions. The goal is to remove any obstacles that might hinder effective learning or bias the model’s predictions while structuring the data in a way that improves model performance.


In digital imaging or signal processing, pre-processing concerns operations aimed at enhancing the raw image or signal for later stages. These operations may involve noise reduction, image resizing, signal amplification, or other transformations that make the raw input more suitable for further analysis or manipulation. The intent of pre-processing in these instances is to maximize the accuracy, efficiency, and quality of whatever process follows, ensuring that it starts with the best input possible.

« Back to Glossary Index