What is data scraping and how is it used?

Discover the Opportunity for Insight, Growth, and Success

Data Scraping: Types, Uses, and Significance

Business data provides valuable insights and opportunities for growth. Researching clients and business partners are crucial for profitable deals. Companies across industries use data scraping and web scraping for market research. In real estate, scraping listings is a common practice (read Feb 3, 2022). Data scraping is a powerful tool for automating business processes, leading to increased productivity and business success.

Data scraping provides tools to extract, analyze, and integrate data. It efficiently extracts data without an API, making it a cost-effective solution. It replaces manual, time-consuming tasks and automates data-gathering for accurate, efficient analysis.

Unlocking the Secrets of Data Scraping and Extraction

Data scraping, also known as data extraction, is a technique that allows the automatic collection of data from websites, databases, and enterprise applications. It enables the extraction of large amounts of relevant information such as product reviews, contact information, social media posts, and web content, for use within your company. Custom software is used to collect and export data into a program, making it easily accessible and integrated with your company's workflow. SilverLogic's data scraping software can export information into spreadsheets, QuickBooks, documents, and websites.

Data scraping is a technique for extracting, analyzing, or integrating data into a company's systems. It enables the efficient data collection from various sources, even without an API, making it a cost-effective alternative to manual data entry or ineffective programs. It helps automate data gathering and improves the accuracy of data analysis.

Data scraping can be a valuable tool for businesses, generating significant revenue and providing a competitive advantage. It's used by industries from sports to government to corporations. Off-the-shelf and custom cloud-based data scrapers are available for businesses to choose from. The key is to understand the options and choose the right approach for your business needs.

Cloud-Based Programs for Web and Data Scraping: An Overview

Data scraping can be done through a program, like Python, Ruby, or PHP, when APIs from websites like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube are not available. This allows for easy access to data from various websites for business, research, or development purposes. Historically, this technique was known as bots, crawlers, spiders, harvesters, etc.

Some examples of online web scraping tools available include:

Some examples of screen scraping software include:

  • UiPath - Comprehensive screen scraper to pull data from any application in minutes

  • Jacada - Jacada Integration and Automation (JIA) is a reliable data integration, desktop automation, and windows/web app screen scraping

  • Macro Scheduler - Powerful screen text capture, OCR functions, and multiple tools

Data scraping has a negative reputation for being used for illegal purposes such as stealing copyrighted content, automating competitor pricing, harvesting email addresses for scams, and hacking websites for information theft. To use data scraping ethically for your business, it's important to follow laws and regulations. Consult experts such as The SilverLogic to ensure compliance.


Differentiating Between the Two Types of Data Scraping

Web Scraping

Web scraping is a common form of data scraping used for business purposes. It involves the automatic downloading and parsing of information to provide data to companies. Web scraping has been around since the 2000s and has been used for data analysis, information acquisition, and research. It also led to the development of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! through the use of "Web Crawlers."

Web scraping is comprehensive, customizable, and effective at collecting whatever modern web data your company requires for intelligent business decisions. Scraping the web and extracting content can assist businesses in implementing the following practices:

  • Price Comparison
  • Market & Competitor Research
  • Contact Scraping (Email and Contact Info)
  • Weather or Currency Data Monitoring
  • Marketing - Content Creation, SEO, Metadata, etc.
  • Decision-Making & Planning

Web scraping is utilized by a wide range of industries, including:

  • Search Engines - Extract relevant information from websites to display in relation to search criteria
  • Sports - Tracking sports for stats, fantasy standings, bets, etc.
  • Government - Tracking inflation, currency, or news for a specific country
  • Real Estate - Tracking the prices for housing markets, property or rentals, competitor comparison, and more
  • Marketing - Tracking social media sentiment around consumer confidence, SEO, metadata, content scraping, keywords, ad word copy, potential influencers, and more
  • Pricing - Compare the prices of tickets, airlines, hotels, festivals, products, or any number of items or services to source the best deal or price accordingly

Screen Scraping

Screen scraping is different from web scraping as it extracts data by analyzing visual interfaces directly from the screen, not by downloading and parsing web sources. It's useful for application-based analytics and research, as well as for extracting data from outdated systems. A study found the cost of missed opportunities and expenses due to data trapped in legacy systems was nearly $140 billion.

Screen scraping is important for companies that need to preserve data for long periods. It's a solution to extract data without accessing source code, especially for older CRM systems with no built-in APIs. Screen scraping is valuable for migrations as it accurately exports legacy data. It's a powerful tool to save time and effort in data migration and record-keeping.

Screen scraping is a powerful technique that can be used to assist businesses in various processes, such as:

  • Using standard APIs to analyze screen contents
  • System API interception to monitor (catch) how data reaches the screen
  • Custom mirror driver or accessibility driver
  • Using Optical character recognition (OCR)

Web scraping is used by many industries in daily business operations, including:

  • Crucial Legacy Systems - Highly accurate and complete migration of all system data
  • Governments - public and government records
  • Health Care Providers - health records for patients
  • Banks - legal documents, account information, and transaction records
  • Energy & Mining - crucial legacy systems data, records, approvals, etc.
  • Corporations & Multi-Nationals - Enterprise data from ERP, CRM, SCM, and other systems

Uncovering the Capabilities of Data Scraping

Web scraping is a valuable tool for data collection in support of marketing, content creation, and decision-making. It can gather pricing information, track trends, and provide data to inform business decisions. It also gives businesses an edge over their competition, allowing them to quickly respond to changes in their competitor's pricing strategies and make informed decisions based on data.

Business automation technology provides up-to-date information, enabling companies to stay ahead of the competition and make informed decisions. The technology integrates with preferred documentation systems, making data gathering and analysis more efficient. This powerful tool helps companies stay on top and make data-driven decisions.

The Advantages of Using Data Scraping

If you are looking to upgrade your legacy systems or learn how to utilize the power of web or content scraping for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us at The SilverLogic for a consultation. Our team of experts will be happy to discuss with you how this technology can positively impact your business and aid in its growth and success.

Our award-winning and highly skilled team of software engineers and experts is dedicated to providing customer-centric solutions for your e-commerce or online business or enterprise. With a focus on simplifying the process, we can design and implement a custom solution, including upgrading your system or building a custom scraping tool for web development, data migration, marketing, or any other application - even a Neo4j-powered political data tool. Since 2012, we have been helping clients navigate the questions of investing in tech solutions and providing a range of services and solutions to collaboratively create their own custom-made competitive advantage.

Looking for a shorter article? Check out our beginner's guide to data extraction.

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