Everybody is looking for innovative methods to utilize modern technologies to stay ahead in today’s competitive world. Web scraping (or data scraping) is a solution for users who want automated access to structured website data. If the target public website does not have an API, then web scraping is perfect
Data parsers are an important part of web scraping as scraped data is often a haphazard unstructured collection of data, which is unreadable. It needs to be converted into a structural output with the help of data parsers, which only retains important data that can be used in further analysis. However, if this is your first time hearing about data parsers or you would like to know how to choose the best parser for your business needs, check the Smartproxy blog for more information.
Scraped Data and Businesses
Public websites are free and can be viewed by anyone on the internet. The information available is non-copyright and can be copied for use by anyone who wants that data. Many prominent businesses employ the use of web crawlers to generate information for the following departments legitimately:
- Marketing and Sales: Businesses can generate better leads at a lower cost, can better analyze their consumer’s interests or preferences, and can monitor consumer sentiments regularly by extracting customer ratings posted on different platforms.
- Competitor Analysis and Pricing: Web scraping helps businesses to work on their pricing strategy by extracting their competitor’s prices and their customer responses. Other than that, businesses can keep a closer eye on their competitors by tracking their moves in the market which makes them better able to counter their promotional offers.
- Strategy Development: Businesses require solid truths about customers, the market, and other variables to develop an effective strategy. This is where scraping data helps to conduct single data extraction, which is used for the first investigation and then to observe the strategy later on. Additionally, businesses want to stay updated with the latest market trends in the industry, a web crawler is constantly deployed to check related industrial news.
- Product Development: Web crawlers can extract information related to the business’s products such as amazon ratings or google reviews, which help the business to tune existing product lines or develop better products based on the information that is extracted.
- Brand Management: Web scraping can help businesses get information related to when, where, and how their business is mentioned on the Internet, as well as the associated global sentiment. With this, the businesses get early awareness about any negative development in the industry so that they can prevent their brand from damage. They also utilize the positive development related to their brand to gain a better market share.
- Risk Management and Compliance: Automated background checks are also conducted by web crawlers to ensure the smooth running of the business. Web crawlers are also used to detect any fraudulent reviews on the business’s products as well as crawl through
- Business Intelligence: Web scraping can be used as a tool to expand machine learning data as well as the model. Moreover, different reports can be enriched with additional data which can be only extracted from the internet to further increase the understanding of the business.
Businesses rate different web crawlers based on the following categories:
- Power: How well the crawler can deal with homepages that have a complex structure. Businesses prefer a higher power crawler that can extract complex information from web pages easily.
- Coding: How much intensive coding the crawler requires. Businesses prefer a crawler that can easily be deployed with minimal coding and obtains significant results.
- Price: How expensive it is to deploy the crawler. Businesses prefer to deploy a relatively low-cost crawler to work constantly in the background to extract critical information about the target company.
- Maintenance: How much maintenance effort has to be put into the crawler to get the desired results over some time. Businesses prefer a low-maintenance crawler as they usually do not have technical departments to take care of bugs or other problems.
Advantages Enjoyed by Businesses
Businesses enjoy the following advantages to deploying web crawlers for market research purposes:
- Faster: Manual research takes days to extract useful information, web crawlers can extract better and accurate information in a matter of minutes.
- Reliable: Automated extraction has better reliability and quality due to constant working parameters as compared to manual scrapping.
- Less costly: Overall automated extraction cost is significantly lower than manual due to less time required for operation.
- Organized: Scheduling the scraper to extract data regularly or at the occurrence of special events
- Low maintenance: In the long run, web scrapers have a very low need for maintenance.
Web scraping is a helpful tool for businesses to improve themselves and the services they extend to their customers. Legitimately extracted data helps them maintain their brand, income, and products over time as they get real-time information from the web crawlers. Deploying them is expensive but the quality of the information makes it affordable.