Data scraping is the process of obtaining the data from a human-understandable text which is the output of another computer program. It might be possible that the program is on the same computer but most of the time the output program is a remote computer, website or some another computer. It is a way to transfer the data.
Normally, when the transfer of the data is between two computers, it’s pretty easy for two computers to understand each other’s language and settle down the transfer. But, the form in which the computer transfers the data is not at all human-understandable. The program has to read from the human-understandable form, which is the main difference when it comes to the data scraping.
Types of Data Scraping
- Screen Scraping: A form of the data scraping, screen scraping is the process of reading and gathering the data from the computer screen which is in the visual form. The screen scraping is used to read the data from the computer’s screen.
- Web Scraping: Web scraping is the process of obtaining data from the website. A website’s data or a webpage is in the form of HTML. However, most of the websites provide data in the human-understandable form. To read it and save it you should need a web scraper.
- Report Mining: The above two types require a connectivity with the computer or the source from where the data is to be read. Report Mining can work offline too. Report Mining is the process of obtaining data from computer reports which are in human-readable form.
Why do we use data scraping?
Data scraping is used to transfer information from the source to the destination. This source and destination could be anything on a computer or outside the computer. For example for sending information to your computer (saving it) data scraping has to be done, otherwise, the transfer of the information would not take place. The web page is showing text in human understandable form but it needs to be read into a computer form and without data scraping, it is not possible. Data scraping has huge applications.
Applications of the data scraping
Data scraping is important for day to day computer tasks. Some of the tasks that require data scraping are given below:-
- Research the web: The web content is possible to research because of the help of data science. Later it can be analyzed for the research purposes and to make statistics reports.
- Comparison between the sites: The algorithms that compare two sites use data scraping because it is not possible to read the price and specifications of mobile phones without the help of data scraping.
- Forward the product details: A product detail or product data from an online shopping website can be forwarded to a vendor only because of the data scraping.
This is how data scraping dominates our daily life and we have to use it.