Data is one of the most important resources now for businesses. Building a solid business intelligence system will require you to conduct an in-depth research of your potential customers and the trend in your industry. But it’s not always easy to gather essential business information. To do this, you need a team of data experts, as well as a properly defined data collection process. For this, web scraping can come in handy.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the process of collecting, harvesting or extracting data from websites. This is usually done as a part of applications or processes used for various types of data collection needs. Simply put, web scraping is the process of copying large scale information from any source available online. Unlike the tedious process of retrieving data manually, web scraping uses automated processes to gather thousands, millions or billions of information from the internet. This is why many businesses rely on the web scraping process to collect large amounts of data that is relevant for their business.
How is Web Scraping Done?
To understand how web scraping is done, it’s important to know its individual parts: the web crawler and the web scraper. The crawler, also called a “spider”, works as a guide and leads the scraper through the internet to find the data that it needs to collect. The crawler searches for content, which the web scraper then extracts from the websites crawled through by the crawler. Web scrapers vary depending on the purpose and platform.
Purpose of Web-Based Data Scraping
With the many possibilities web scraping can offer, many businesses are using it to collect various types of data. Depending on your line of business, you can use web scraping for:
- Web Indexing. The process of indexing the contents of a website for the purpose of adding web pages into Google search.
- Data Mining. Discovering patterns or correlations in large data sets by using various methods such as machine learning, statistics, and database systems.
- Online Market Price Monitoring and Comparison. A cost analysis method usually performed by ecommerce platforms and online businesses to gain insights on how to better price their own products or services and gain an advantage against their competitors.
- Product Review Collection. An online marketing method performed by businesses to gain more presence online and to build a positive brand reputation. The process involves collecting reviews submitted by customers using different review platforms. The business can then use it as a guide for their product improvement or design.
- Real Estate Listing Collection. A data enrichment method done by businesses and professionals in the real estate industry to help them gain a higher ROI.
- General Research. Done for various reasons, both by businesses and individuals in need of information from anywhere across the internet. It is usually performed to improve or correct hypotheses, make an informed decision or to help develop a knowledge base.
- Online Presence and Reputation Tracking. A brand management practice performed by companies to understand how customers perceive their brand, monitor their competitors and predict the market’s performance.
- Web Mashup. A technique performed by most websites wherein they use data or functionality from different sources to create a new service or website. It is also called data integration.
- Weather Data Monitoring. Weather forecasting requires monitoring weather conditions from those of the previous days. This helps improve the accuracy of weather forecasts.
Why Use Web Scraping?
Considering the many purposes of web scraping, it also offers companies a variety of benefits when it comes to data collection.
- Fast and easy data collection
Thanks to technology, collecting large amounts of data can now be done quickly and easily through web scraping. Whether you are looking for data to innovate, execute or market better, web scraping can help you accomplish that. Data gathering can be better accomplished if done through an automated process, and what better way to do it than through web scraping.
- Helps scale your market analysis
To help you understand the market better, it’s important that you have enough information about the different products and services available, along with the companies that you consider as your competitors. Moreover, you should also have a more in-depth understanding of your potential consumers. With enough market data, you can come up with a better analysis of the trends in your business and can streamline your products and services to be more suitable to your market.
- On demand database enrichment
Through web scraping, you get to acquire valuable data that you can add to your business anytime you need it. By working with a reliable team of web scrapers, you can easily request for any type of data and get what you want as soon as you want it. By working with the right web scraping professionals, enriching your database can be a whole lot easier.
- Streamlined and technology-based collection process
Data collection nowadays is a lot easier, considering the availability of various tools and services provided by different data service companies. With the right team of data experts, coupled with the most-advanced web scraping tools, you can find any data you need from all sorts of resources online.
Get Professional Web Scraping Solutions
To perform web-based data scraping properly and efficiently, you need to have it done by a team of professional data scrapers. If you don’t have the tools and manpower available in-house, then outsourcing it will be the best solution.
Not sure how to go about outsourcing your web scraping needs? Talk to us here at Assivo. Our team is all set and ready to provide you with the knowledge and support you need to get started with your web scraping. No matter what data you need, we are ready to work and collect it for you.