Web scraping is about extracting data from the website and transforming the data into a structured form for further analysis. The concept is also known as web harvesting. There is so much data available on the world wide web, analyzing and managing it can become quite a hassle.
Therefore, web scraping has proven to be an efficient technique for businesses to structure their data. Product details to stock prices, everything can be extracted and downloaded into a more reasonable format such as a spreadsheet.
Every single company or business out there designs its strategies based on insights from customer or market data. Data is basically the core of business success and strategies. Whether you are working on designing your marketing campaign or want to develop your mobile applications.
You need to analyze the market data to make informed decisions and strategies. This is where web scraping arrives. Web scraping is not only limited to one type of industry such as Fintech or IT.
But it is relevant to all the global industries because they are offering some kind of product or service. And want to promote and market it and encourage people or businesses to use it.
With web scraping, you can easily extract data from any web page you want, no matter how large or small it is. Also, sometimes we come across websites that do not let us copy or paste their data, but with the help of web scraping techniques, you can easily get that data as well.
Moreover, save the data in any format as you like be it a spreadsheet, CVS, or API. After downloading, you would then be able to analyze it the way you want. In short, web harvesting made the entire data collection and downloaded process easier.
How Web Scraping and its Applications are Transforming the World
Let’s look at some of the web scraping applications in different industries
Use cases of Web scraping apps in the financial industry
Extract valuable data from news articles because no one has time to read through hundreds of web pages. But news articles are very important for the financial industry therefore we cannot even ignore them.
Financial statements talk about the health of a company to which it belongs. And as a result, other companies can make decisions whether to invest in the company in question or not – but financial statements are lengthy to go through. Web scraping can extract financial statements from different websites and different time periods for an analyst to analyze and as a result, help companies to make actionable decisions.
Insurance agencies can also make use of web scraping and analyze the data and risks in order to design their policies.
Applications of Web Scraping in the Retail and Manufacturing Sector
Ecommerce is becoming highly popular nowadays – the popularity increased with the onset of the global pandemic situation. If you are new in the market you need to run a thorough competitor analysis, such as their features, products, and pricing.
However, keeping track of every competitor’s pricing strategy is daunting and tedious. Especially when prices keep fluctuating and manual way of keeping track is not an option their web scraping not only automated the process but also keeps you updated with the competitor’s pricing strategies. Additionally, manufacturers always want to eyeball retailers whether they are offering the same minimum price as initially planned or not.
Web scraping services can always help – also it helps companies to stay compliant with MAP – Minimum Advertised Price.
Moreover, web harvesting can also help fetch images and product descriptions from manufacturers. Last but not least, it also helps to analyze customer reviews and feedback. After downloading the spreadsheet, you can easily compare reviews and see what needs to be improved.
How can Web Scraping help in Data Science?
Data science relies heavily on real-time analytics because they quickly process data. Many institutions can leverage real-time analytics to make informed future decisions. Moreover, real-time analytics can help businesses to optimize their customer experience through personalized experiences and target marketing campaigns.
Since businesses deal with hundreds of thousands of customers every day. Therefore, real-time analytics are huge in number through web harvesting services data can be easily accessed, extracted, and analyzed. Need I say more?
Moreover, data science can also help with predictive analysis. Because predictive analytics are gathered through huge chunks of data such as customer behaviors, etc. Web scraping has been significantly growing to cater to predictive analysis and is considered important for that matter. Also, it has been used in Natural language processing as well as machine learning.
Some Advantages of Web Scraping Services
Automation: The most important benefit of web harvesting or scraping is automation, for obvious reasons. Because web scraping automated the process of manually extracting and analyzing data.
With web scraping techniques you can easily get access to all the data with only a few taps on the screen and say goodbye to a long-time consuming data extraction process.
Time-efficient: Another significant advantage of web harvesting is that it is very cost-efficient. Meaning no need for colossal resources and budget to waste on manual techniques when digital techniques are here to make your work easier.
You can find many web scraping services and tools out in the market which you can use to extract or scrape data. The best part is such tools are available only for a fraction of a cost. But prices can vary in the amount of data, complexity, functionally, and other necessary extraction tools, per se.
Low Maintenance and Easy Implementation: Additionally, such tools are easy to implement. Even though every service needs maintenance over time, web scraping needs little to no maintenance therefore there won’t be any budget surprises.
High Data Accuracy:Web scraping services are highly accurate. Manual tasks can have human errors but since web scraping is an automated process, it is free of human errors. Therefore, you can extract any critical data without fear of making mistakes which can otherwise lead to more drastic problems.