With the advent of the internet, there has been an increase in the number of users globally and with an increase in the number of websites, applications for various business needs or personal use. We have a vast pool of public data available over the web. Because of this huge data available over the web, a term called data scraping has been coined now. Let’s get to know about it in detail, how, and why we need to scrape public data.
What Is Data Scraping?
Data Scraping can also be termed as web scraping, web harvesting, or web data extraction which is used for extracting data from different websites. The web scraping software can directly access the www using the hypertext transfer protocol or a web browser. This method has been considered to be one of the most efficient ways to get data from websites. Some of the most popular uses of data scraping include:
- It is required to research business and web content.
- For comparison of price from various sites.
- For conducting market research. (e.g. Yell and Twitter)
- For sharing product data from an e-commerce site to another online vendor (e.g. Google Shopping)
- For just scratching the data.
- Data scraping is required for various business needs
- It is relatively simple and easy to master the basics of data scraping.
Why scrape Publicly Available Data
Knowledge is power and Information is liberating. As we know that to gain access to the best level of information, you’re first going to need to collect some data. Web crawling, Web scraping, and data mining are some of the effective methods that allow you to easily compile and store information from websites on the internet
Benefits of web scraping for business?
With the help of Web scrapers, data can be automatically extracted from the websites, which saves the time of the employee by minimizing the mundane task of data collection. A greater volume of data can be collected which would not have been possible if done by a single human.
Business Intelligence & Insights
Web scraping from the internet data allows the individual or business to search for competitor prices, monitor their marketing activity, and swiftly market research about the industry online. By downloading, cleaning, and analyzing data at significant volume, one can build a better picture of the market, competitor’s activity can be studied which in turn will lead to better business decision making.
Unique and rich datasets
The internet provides us a huge amount of data in the form of text, images, videos, and numerical values. Depending upon the purpose of your business needs, you can find appropriate websites, and set up website crawlers, and make your custom dataset for analysis of required information. You could set up web scrapers to gather information on various requirements:
By web scraping data, one will never have to depend on the website releasing a public application programming interface to retrieve the data from web pages. There are various advantages to web scraping when compared with accessing through a public API:
- You can access and accumulate any data that is accessible on their website.
- You are not restricted to a particular amount of queries.
- You will not be required to sign up for an API key or follow its rules.
Effective Data Management
Why need to copy and paste data from the internet, now you can choose the required data which you would like to collect from a wide range of websites, by web scraping you can collect the data accurately. In a more advanced form of web scraping or crawling techniques, your data will be stored within a cloud database and most likely it will be running daily.
One added advantage of storing data with automatic software and programs is that your company, operations, or employees need to spend less time copying and pasting information from the web and will have more time on creative work that can benefit the organization or business.
How Can I Use Web Scraping?
Thinking about whether to use web scraping or not. Here we have gathered the information that web scraping is very advantageous to improve your online business.
1. Pricing strategy optimization
One can optimize the existing market prices and offers By monitoring all of your competitors’ prices, to outcompete your competitor in business. One way to create a competitive pricing plan, the pricing data for numerous products will have to be collected via web scraping and product prices will need to be dynamically changed to meet the fluctuating market demand.
2. Brand Monitoring
Every business wants its brand to have a reputable and constructive online view to improving the probability that customers will choose to purchase only their product or services instead of their competitors.
Businesses can use web scraping to monitor forums, reviews on e-commerce sites, and social media channels for mentioning the brand name to create a better understanding of the current voice of the customer.
This provides the opportunity to quickly identify and emphasize any negative comments to diminish any damage to the brand name.
To Measure Search Engine Optimisation Activities
Your SEO efforts and important keywords can be monitored by web scraping Google search engine result pages
By web scraping the top results, one can analyze the HTML pages to understand the main driving factors for optimizing any piece of content to appear on the first search page of Google.
Web Scraping of Products, services, and Price of competitor Websites
By web scraping multiple websites, one can easily aggregate product prices from multiple websites which can then be aggregated into a price comparison service.
By combining product data from various available sources on the web, you can help customers to find an affordable place for their item, and it is possible to monetize this type of service with affiliate marketing
To Collect & Analyse Public Opinion
Downloading large amounts of comments from websites such as Reddit or any other popular blogs can help to understand the most favored opinion at a great scale and depth. With the help of natural language processing tools, one can easily perform an analysis of thoughts and opinions on topics or extract the most frequently occurring words.
Building a Machine Learning Dataset
Web scraping of data from some of the most popular sites like Facebook, Flipkart, Amazon, eBay, YouTube, Pinterest, or another site allows you to create an actionable machine learning data set that would have not been accessible by a public API. Distinct data set possession is important for data scientists so to extract relevant and predictive features for predicting a specific outcome with their machine learning models.
Web scraping is considered to be a great tool for performing competitor research. Which can help the company to search for products where customers are expressing positive feedback on the product.
Content research efforts can be improved by setting up custom RSS feed web scrapers so that whenever a competitor uploads new content to their website you will get an alert.
Most of the Lead generation companies with the help of web scraping collect email addresses from various sources which are then validated and sold to other companies such as marketing agencies or marketing consultants.
Automated Content Curation
Scraping of news sites can be done to perform a customer analysis with the goal being to provide better news and specific reliable content to the audience.
Web data extraction provides rich insights on the salary and job markets, which enables the recruiter to recruit top talents for the business in comparison to your competitors. Web scraping helps in understanding the current market skills and can therefore help in hiring marketers and developers who are possessing future–proof skills.
Market Demand Analysis
Recognizing your market’s current and future demand is one of the vital components for creating a successful product. By extracting a huge amount of data, you can rapidly identify consumer trends, needs, and market trends. Web scraping in this case will allow you to pivot any product to continue the needs of your end consumer.
Going through this article one may get a thorough understanding of what is web scraping, its benefits, its disadvantages, and the use cases for web scraping in various businesses. There are huge possibilities and applications of web scraping. In the coming years, medium and large businesses will be depending on it for thorough research of the market and products. Its applications are boundless.
Google by nature is considered to be a web scraping and information retrieval company.
novel business values with the help of web scraping if used in a very appropriate way for the benefit of the customer along with the benefit for the business.