Web Scraping – A quick byte
Web scraping is the technique of extraction of data from the plethora of the websites and to use this data to create meaningful information. In simpler terms, web scraping involves the collection of data present in the form of text, images, videos, etc obtained through surveys, user reviews, user ratings, feedback etc and to make sense out of it. Trends and the reasons for such existing trends are derived and this is used to further the progress of the company.
Where to scrape data from?
The next important question which pops in mind is where to scrape the data from. Commonly, the data is used from a lot of sources. These sources include PDF files which have at least 15 data points, search engines and online directories, emails and contacts of the customer for the purpose of marketing of the products, and the other databases available on the internet. Although, it must be understood that data should be extracted from legal and fair means. Otherwise, it could be considered as data theft.
What are the tools required to scrape data?
There are several tools present in the market for the scraping of web data. The data scraper can use any of the tools to scrape the data according to the nature, scale and the requirement of the data scraper. The extraction of the data by the big companies cannot be fulfilled by the tools present on the internet. Therefore, These companies develop highly advanced techniques for the scraping of the data. However, a small enterprise or an individual can scrape data with the software present of the internet.
Why this hubbub around web scraping?
Well, the web scraping can be very useful for your business and its expansion. The multi-million dollar companies are using web scraping to get critical data from the competitor’s website. This way, they know the next move of their competitor and can conjure up a plan to beat them in the market. This is an example of the use of web scraping in the process of decision making in the business. The uses of web scraping include price comparison and the collection of consumer data. Another advantage is its swiftness. The extraction of data is fast, cheap and voluminous. On the contrary, manual data extraction is slow, small, cumbersome and costly.
It has been estimated that 2.5 Quintilian bytes of data are produced each day. Out of the huge amount of data, the companies extract a huge amount of data from the websites on a regular basis for increasing their knowledge base. They include the data on the customer buying behavior and the data on the business initiatives of their competitor. Lagging behind in the data extraction by a business simply means lagging behind in the market to their competitor. The compilation and the analysis of such data is another great challenge. Advanced web scraping technologies have the potential to address this problem too. Therefore, the web scraping is of paramount in the present items.