Published on April 11th, 2017 | by Guest0
Web Scraping Wisdom – 6 Business Benefits of Utilising Web Scraping
With so much of daily life happening online, there is a wealth of information to be found on any topic, in any industry and for any customer group. Everyone in the business world loves the idea of Big Data, but often in reality Big Data is just too big for the average business to navigate. Businesses either lack the skills and manpower to collect or utilize data, or once they have the data, don’t know how to find what they’re looking for or gain the necessary insights.
An automated web scraper solves the problems of Big Data, by reducing the time and effort it takes to get the answers you need. Different web scraping solutions will either deliver you reports on the data you want, so you don’t have to do any of the complicated stuff yourself, or give you software that allows you to mine the data yourself with a few simple clicks.
What is web scraping?
Web scraping extracts data from websites on the internet by crawling through any content that is visible on a page (sort of like how search engines crawl websites to determine their relevancy to a given search). You are then able to extract a specific set of data across multiple websites to create a clear picture of your desired information.
An easy to understand example of web scraping are airline ticket comparison apps or websites. These sites extract data from all the airline websites and compile it in one place so that you can compare prices.
Web scraping can also be used for things like news analysis, tracking sentiment on social media and SEO tracking, among other things.
So why does your business need a web scraper?
Data has value.
When you can collect focused data and analyse it in a meaningful way, it can be one of the most valuable tools that a modern company has. Data analysis allows you to make predictions in response to market trends that you don’t have to wait around to read about somewhere else. When time is money, you’ll have an edge on your competitors by being the first to know where the market is heading.
Informed data analysis allows you to make better business decisions because you can see past and current trends that allows you to anticipate future directions.
Manual extraction is unrealistic.
A web scraping service makes possible what is impractical for most businesses.
Rather than waste money having your employees waste their time manually compiling data reports, web scraping software is a business tool that automates this daunting task. Automation through the use of software saves your business time and money for a variety of other daily processes, so why not use it to mine data for you too?
Web scraping software requires little to no manual effort, and as a result the possibility for human error decreases. With manual extraction, you have to copy and paste information into spreadsheets which can result in errors, duplicate data or just overlooked information.
Closely related to web scraping solutions are also proxies. It is possible to run into blocks and restrictions when scraping data from a bulk of websites which are suspicious of such activity. In these situations, it is better to be equipped with a proxy server – that is, a service which conceals the true IP address of a user via intermediary IPs so that the user is protected from getting banned or restricted from websites from which she needs her data.
Bottom line: better business.
Having access to data from web scraping makes your business more successful.
Capabilities such as price analysis and competitive intelligence lead to more sales and increased profits. By monitoring competitor activities, prices and markets, you can better position your products for maximum sales and profits, and with sentiment tracking you’ll know what your customers want and how they feel about you and your competitors.
Essentially, web scraping services allow your business to stay ahead of the curve with minimal cost and effort to your business and employees. Make the most of the information you need and use it to propel your business forward.