In this fast-moving world, where thousands of start-ups are taking shape, the main differentiator is data. Each company or establishment can be distinguished from the next one based on its data quality, and data acquiring methods.
For every marketplace, data is at the core of research ideas, initiatives, and business strategies. Accessing and utilizing data on a daily basis is of the essence here. This is when data scraping comes into the picture.
Data scraping or web scraping is the single most effective method of gathering data from online sources, across multiple platforms. And this is not specific to one industry alone; in fact, it is relevant across multiple industries.
Who Can Use Data Scraping? Where Does Data Scraping Find Its Applications?
Data scraping is relevant for many different industries. Let us consider one simple example. Supposedly, you run an e-commerce company. For business intelligence purposes, it is necessary for you to draw and access data from your competitor’s site.
This could include marketing strategies, pricing details, product catalogues, and the likes. In each of these instances, there could be huge volumes of data available online. But how can you access it in a usable format? For small data sets, you could manually copy and paste them in your repository. However, for thousands of pages and long data sets, this practice is not feasible.
Web scraping comes to your rescue here. This automated process helps you gather information from multiple sources, scanning through multiple pages. What is even better is that you can store the data in a format of your choice.
Very often, an Excel format or CSV format proves to be more useful for storing and analyzing data. Any data scraping tool could cater to the format requirement from your end.
So, web scraping offers a threefold advantage. First and foremost, it simplifies the whole process of extracting data. Secondly, owing to the automation techniques, this method speeds up the process and helps you in extracting huge volumes of information very quickly. Thirdly, its user-defined format comes in handy for quick analysis and data study.
Thus, as an ecommerce entrepreneur, you could engage in accessing data from your competitor’s website with data scraping. You could, for instance, develop a mechanism to scan through the product pages of the website, secure the product description, pricing and delivery details. This will give you an edge over others in the market.
How Do You Use Scraped Data?
Let us consider a set of two instances where data extraction will prove to be useful. Once you scrape data from a particular website, you could go about it in two different ways.
Scenario 1 – You could build up a system for your company or brand to specialize in data retrieval mechanisms. Thus, whenever your company needs some information, it will have an in-house repository to access and extract new data.
Scenario 2 – You could use your data scraping competencies to provide similar services. For instance, if you have a data retrieval tool, you could provide it to different marketplaces. This means, your data gathering tools would be used by different industries to collect information.
Web Scraping and Proxies
Web scraping and proxies go hand in hand. Proxies are an essential part of the web scraping technique. Owing to the fact that most websites tend to block web scraping measures on their environment, proxies really come in handy here.
Using a proxy IP address would mean that the site admin won’t be able to track you or your activities. How do proxies work? The idea is simple. You mask your own IP address and assign a randomly chosen IP address from a pool in order to carry out your data scraping activities.
By using proxies, the website admin would not be able to detect any data extraction attempts. This is because proxies hide your IP address and mimic human action. Rotating your IP with the help of proxies will prevent you from getting blacklisted and will help you in extracting as much data and relevant information as you want to.
Choosing the Right Proxy for Web Scraping
To make the most out of proxies, it is highly recommended to choose the best proxy services, ideally the premium proxies. Although premium proxies are not available for free, they serve the ulterior motive of providing the best services.
. But how do you select the most appropriate proxy for your web scraping activities? Here are some ideas to decide on the proxy provider.
- Check out reviews
It is imperative to check out the reviews of online proxies before you choose one. This would give you an idea of how the providers work.
- Determine the marketplace
A certain proxy could work well against one marketplace as compared to the others. Thus, establish the marketplace in advance in order to choose the proxy.
- Test the product
Based on the marketplace chosen, you could test the proxy as a product to gauge its effectiveness and understand how it works in the real world.
The Wrap Up
Undoubtedly, web scraping is important to gain a competitive advantage. The best way to move ahead with this is to use proxies to scrape the data effortlessly and anonymously. What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments below.