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The Advantages & Disadvantages of Web Scraping Data

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.” To achieve access to one of the best pieces of information, you’re first going to want to collect some data. Web scraping, data mining and web crawling are effective strategies that let you simply compile and store info from websites on the internet.

In this piece we will investigate what is web scraping, the benefits and disadvantages of web scraping and among the useful use cases for scraping data.

What’s web scraping?

Web scraping refers to creating or using a computer software to extract data from total websites or a few web pages. Additionally whenever you carry out web scraping, you may either download the whole web web page or key elements such as the tag or article body content material for further analysis.

What are the benefits of web scraping for business?

Achieve Automation

Robust web scrapers let you automatically extract data from websites, this permits you or your co-workers to save time that may’ve have otherwise been spent on mundane data collection tasks. It additionally means you can gather data at higher quantity than a single human may ever hope to achieve.

Also it’s possible so that you can create sophisticated web bots to automate online activities with either web scraping software or using a programming language corresponding to javascript, python, go or php.

Enterprise Intelligence & Insights

Web scraping data from the internet lets you seek for competitor prices, monitor their marketing activity and to swiftly market research your trade online. By downloading, cleaning and analysing data at significant quantity, you’ll be able to build a greater image of your market, your competitor’s activity which in turn will lead to better business decision making.

Unique and rich datasets

The internet provides you with a rich amount of text, image, video and numerical data and at present comprises at the least 6.05 billion pages. Depending upon what your objective is, you could find relevant websites, setup website crawlers and then make your own custom dataset for analysis.

For example, let’s pretend you’re taken with UK football and need to understand the sports market in depth.

You would setup webscapers to collect the next data:

Video Content: To download all the football games from YouTube or

Football Statistics: You can download your desired workforce’s historical match statistics.

WhoScored – Goal Data.


Betting Odds: You can collect the betting odds for football matches from bookmaker’s akin to Bet365 or from player betting exchanges comparable to Betfair or Smarkets.

Create applications for tools that don’t have a public developer API

By web scraping data, you will by no means have to depend on the website releasing a public application programming interface (API) to access the data which they show on their webpages. There are a number of benefits to web scraping in comparison to accessing a public API:

You’ll be able to access and collect any data that is available on their website.

You are not limited to a specific number of queries.

You don’t need to sign up for an API key or have to abide by their rules.

Efficient Data Management

Instead of copying and pasting data from the internet, you can select what data you would like to collect from a range of websites, then you’ll be able to accurately collect it with web scraping. For more advanced web scraping / crawling methods your data will be stored within a cloud database, and will likely be running on a every day basis.

Storing data with computerized software and programs implies that your organization, operations or workers can spend less time copying and pasting info and more time on artistic work.

What are the disadvantages?

You will must learn programming, use web scraping software or to pay a developer

If you’re looking to collect and organise a vast amount of knowledge from the internet, you will find that existing web scraping software is limited in functionality. Though the software could be good for extracting several components from a web page, as soon as it is advisable to crawl multiple websites they are less effective.

Therefore you will need to either put money into learning web scraping strategies in a programming language equivalent to javascript, python, ruby, go or php. Alternatively you possibly can hire a contract web scraping developer, regardless each of these two approaches will add an overhead to your data assortment operations.

Websites recurrently change their structure and crawlers require maintenance

As websites usually change their HTML structure, generally your crawlers will break. Whether or not you’re utilizing web scraping software otherwise you’re writing the web scraping code, there is a certain amount of upkeep that must be commonly carried out to keep your data assortment pipelines clean and operational.

For every website that you just write a custom encoding script, adds on a certain quantity of technical debt. If plenty of websites that you’re gathering data from out of the blue decide to redesign their websites, you will must spend money on fixing your crawlers.

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