Module 3: Data and Bias

Welcome to the module "Data and Bias." We will explore the crucial interconnection between data and bias, shedding light on how the information we collect can inadvertently introduce biases into various processes. As data increasingly shapes decision-making in the realms of artificial intelligence and technology, it becomes imperative to understand the nuances of bias within datasets. Join us as we unravel the complexities of this interplay, examining real-world examples and strategies to mitigate biases, ensuring a more accurate and equitable use of data in diverse applications.

In Module 3, we cover the following Lessons:

Lesson 3.1: Bias in Data Collection

Lesson 3.2: Data Sampling Methods

Lesson 3.3: Ethical Data Sourcing

Lesson 3.4: Data Pre-processing and Bias Reduction

Lesson 3.5: Real-world Data Bias Case Studies


Lesson 3.2 focuses on data sampling methods, a critical aspect of mitigating bias in datasets. We'll explore various sampling techniques, understanding how the choice of method can impact the representation of the overall population. Whether through random sampling, stratified sampling, or other approaches, we aim to provide insights into selecting methods that contribute to more inclusive and unbiased datasets. 

Data sampling methods involve selecting a subset of data from a larger dataset for analysis. The goal of sampling is to draw conclusions about the entire population based on a smaller, more manageable sample. There are various data sampling methods, each with its own advantages and use cases. Here are some common data sampling methods: 

Random Sampling
Description: In random sampling, every individual or data point has an equal chance of being selected. It ensures an unbiased representation of the population.
Use Case: When the population is homogenous, and each member is equally relevant. Stratified

Description: In stratified sampling, the population is divided into subgroups or strata, and then random samples are taken from each stratum. This ensures representation from each subgroup.
Use Case: When the population has distinct subgroups, and it is important to ensure proportional representation from each.

Systematic Sampling

Description: Systematic sampling involves selecting every kth element from a list after a random start. The value of k is determined by dividing the population size by the desired sample size.
Use Case: When there is a structured or ordered list of the population, and a systematic approach is feasible.

Cluster Sampling
Description: In cluster sampling, the population is divided into clusters, and random clusters are selected. All members within the chosen clusters are included in the sample.
Use Case: When it is impractical to sample individual elements and clustering is a natural way to group members.

Convenience Sampling

Description: Convenience sampling involves selecting the easiest or most convenient members of the population to include in the sample. It is a non-probabilistic method.
Use Case: When time and resources are limited, and a quick sample is needed.

Quota Sampling
Description: Quota sampling involves setting specific quotas for certain characteristics (e.g., age, gender) and then non-randomly selecting individuals to meet those quotas.
Use Case: When certain characteristics are crucial, and the researcher wants to ensure representation based on those characteristics.

Purposive Sampling
Description: Purposive sampling involves intentionally selecting individuals who meet specific criteria relevant to the research question.
Use Case: When researchers seek individuals with particular characteristics or experiences.

Choosing the appropriate sampling method depends on the research objectives, the nature of the population, available resources, and the desired level of precision. Each method has its strengths and limitations, and researchers should carefully consider the implications of their choice on the validity and generalizability of their findings.