Information has always been vital for reaching success in anything — the more of it you have, the better. And even though in recent years there is a lot of hype about data mining, businesses have been hunting for information since the dawn of time. The only difference is that there is much more data now, and it’s kind of easier to acquire it.
But despite that data extraction gets so much attention, businesses are just beginning to get into this topic. This is how we can explain it, at least partially: until recently, it was rather difficult to scrape information from the web, and this process was quite expensive. Sure, today it is not simple and cheap as well. However, it’s much easier now to collect data thanks to all the new tools that automate this task.
Let’s define data extraction
Data extraction is the process of gathering information from web pages. It’s also called web scraping, data collection, or mining. To obtain the required information, specialists use dedicated tools that are called scrapers — bots that go through websites and extract the data you need.
Advanced scrapers can analyze the gathered information and organize it to make it more convenient for your consumption. They can execute this job much better than humans because robots are made for working with data. It means that you will receive quality data free from human mistakes and unnecessary details. Moreover, you will get it quickly and without putting too much effort into the process.
Improving accuracy and getting more freedom
As data extraction gets more advanced, webmasters tend to protect their sites from scraping. Why would they do that? Well, because they’re worried their rivals will use the gathered information to win the competition. Also, the activity of a scraper might look like a DDoS attack if the data gathering is executed incorrectly. So that’s another thing that might keep you away from the information you need.
Many modern scrapers already can bypass certain restrictions and avoid getting detected. But all of them need some help to remain anonymous and, thus, hide from anti-scraping systems. The good thing is that it’s quite easy to help scrapers with this task — you need to supply your bot with proxies. They will let the scraper change the IP address for each new request to appear as a generic website visitor and remain undetected.
Getting proxies from Infatica you will receive access to over one million residential IP addresses you can rotate as you need to bypass all the restrictions. Using them, your scraper will be able to access specific content meant for a certain target audience and gather full information.
Also, thanks to proxies you will get more accurate data — a lot of websites tend to change the information a bit for returning visitors or users from different countries. For example, an e-commerce store might show you a higher price for a certain product if you viewed it before. Or a website that sells tickets for flights might show different prices for users from different locations. Proxies will let you avoid these tricks.
Why do businesses need automated data extraction?
The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. Gathering valuable data you can get a lot of useful insights that will improve the vision of the current situation and help forecast possible events. This allows business owners to make data-driven decisions and predict the outcome with high accuracy.
If you automate the data extraction process, you will receive information much faster. Also, manual work is always more expensive. But today businesses have an alternative: scrapers. They will save you a lot of costs while doing the job much better and quicker than humans. There is no such thing as a mistake for robots — they always extract exactly the information you need. So in the end, you will receive quality and perfectly correct insights.
How can different businesses leverage data extraction?
The use of scraping depends on the goals of the company and on its industry, of course. Many firms come up with their own approaches and techniques, and it’s hard to mention each of them. So we will talk about the most widely spread ones.
How e-commerce businesses use scraping
Prices grow all the time. But how does a seller keep their customers while raising the pricing? By following the prices of their competitors. Using data extraction, e-commerce businesses can follow the changes and maintain the golden mean to win the competition. Also, when researching the prices of other retailers, a seller can detect certain patterns and get inspiration for a better pricing strategy.
Another use of scraping for e-commerce firms is studying the products to determine which ones are popular among their target audience. Performing such research, a seller can offer buyers exactly what they want thus increasing the revenue of the online store.
Finally, data extraction eases the management of numerous distribution channels. It’s quite effortless to monitor all of them with scraping and detect if someone violates the rules of a manufacturer.
Data extraction for marketing
A good marketing strategy heavily relies on information. Marketing managers utilize scraping to monitor the activity of competitors and get useful insights and inspiration. Also, they gather data to watch over the ranks of a brand in search engines and improve the SEO strategy. Scraping can also bring a business a lot of leads since it’s quite easy to gather emails or other contact information of the target audience from the internet. Finally, data extraction can provide marketers with the source of inspiration for the content they generate for a brand they’re promoting.
Data science and scraping
Data gathering lies in the core of data science. Specialists use scraping to provide machine learning models with much-needed information so that artificial intelligence can perform the needed actions better. Also, data scientists use scraping to study trends and predict future outcomes to offer businesses useful insights.
Data extraction for finance
Investors and companies that work in finance absolutely adore scraping as it can bring them all the information they need. Using data extraction, it’s easy for them to follow the trends in different markets, be aware of all the news and changes, and accelerate due diligence. The biggest part of the everyday job of an investor is studying different kinds of information. So why not let a bot do this job instead of you to save lots of time and effort? Then, you will simply go through the most essential and structured information to make a correct data-driven decision.
Scraping in real estate
Real estate agencies can benefit greatly from data extraction as it will bring them all the information on available properties, details about them, prices, current needs of buyers, and much more. Using web scraping, real estate agents can follow the activity of their competitors to make the right move and close deals faster.
Any business can benefit from data extraction
Information is valuable for all companies, and it’s hard and quite pointless to list each industry. The approaches we’ve mentioned are the most popular ones. And we hope they will serve you as an inspiration for creating your own practice. Infatica specialists are always ready to give you advice on how to use scraping for your business — a lot of our customers use our proxies for scraping, so we dealt with numerous different approaches. Also, we will help you choose a suitable plan for your business. Simply drop us a line and we will assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Manual and automatic: Manual data extraction is the process of extracting data from a source by hand. This can be done by reading through the source and extracting the relevant information manually, or by using software to extract specific information from a source.
Automated data extraction is the process of automatically extracting data from a source using software. This can be done by scanning a document or website for specific keywords or values, or by parsing text strings to extract specific information.