What is Web Scraping?

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web-scraping
Do you know there is something common with every entrepreneur – budding or successful, journalist, industrialist, or financial analyst or a founder who topped the Forbes List?
Can you guess it?
Well, it is data. They all are envisioning their next best strategies with Data Insights. From planning, evaluating to predicting the upcoming potential opportunities, everything is rested at Data/Web Scraping. And, in fact, they all race with data to ace the game of the competition.
Web Scraping or Data Scraping is the process of extracting the data from a relevant website. These sites naturally contain a large form of invaluable data to retrieve billions of data points for revolutionary business applications.
Various companies are ready to spend handsomely to fetch out marketing information pertaining to the content and price to evaluate the trends of competitors. A web scraper often deploys the bot to stretch out the relevant information from the website as a matter of replicating the uniqueness of your products.
In the general sense, it crawls and extracts the information and converts it into the API or spreadsheet for a productive usage.
Well, web scraping can also resort to manual activity. But, it is not that simple. Let’s understand its process from scratch-

How does web scraping works?

Web Scraping gives an action to the thought ‘Data is the new oil’ and mechanizes the insight with a clean interpretation.
This has been the NEW WEAPON that leverages the performance of multiple verticals. But the catch is- how you process and bring into implementation.
The Two Pillars of Web Scraping are-

1. The Web Crawler

web-crawler
The Web Crawler is the ‘spider bot’ that automatically browses and crawls the websites to the deepest to deal with the large data sets. It is often used for validating the HTML codes and checking the links. This gives a hint to the search engine to check those sites as a purpose of indexing.

2. The Web Scraper

web-scraper
The Web Scraper facilitates in downloading the data from respected pages into the HTML format. Then, it would save and store the extracted content into the Plain text, JSON, or CSV file.
And, on these pillars depend the entire Web Scraping process. Let’s have a detailed look-

Process – 1: Requesting the Response

This is the initial stage where you have to request the targeted website for scrapping the content of a specific link. In response to the request, the scrapper can tactfully have the information in HTML format.

Process – 2: Parsing and Extracting the Data

Parsing is the technical process of deploying the coding and preparing a specific structure that can easily comprehend with the computer language.
In simple words, it will take the content into the HTML format and then extract the information as per the specific context. For example – it will display content in the bold text, differentiate the title and paragraphs of the page, links, headlines, and others.

Process – 3: Downloading the Data

Now, once the data is parsed and extracted, you can finally download and save it into CSV or any format for a quick retrieval.
So, that’s how data scraping works like!

What are the applications of Web Scraping?

Web Scraping is the savior in saving your time and energy from manually downloading, and extracting the relevant information. Let’s dive deep to explore the applications in a real-time scenario-
1. Competitor Price Monitoring
Pricing standards really play an important role in the cut-throat competition. And, you can’t manually keep a track of competitor’s data and their pricing. That’s practically impossible because it fluctuates often. So, that’s where web scraping ace the game.
It helps you in extracting the content so you can formulate your pricing strategies considering the actual market offering.
Thus, investment in competitive intelligence keeps your business one step ahead of the challenges.
2. Sentimental Analysis
Sentimental analysis is the best way to get into the shoes of your target audience and exactly understand their reactions to your brand. It lets you track and evaluate the preference of consumers based on reviews and feedback given.
Is it possible to collect and analyze the reviews manually? Of course, not.
So, with web scraping, you can download and compare the feedbacks of different businesses on the basis of relevant keywords.
3. Real Estate
Investment in real estate often delivers the most valuable result and return. This requires data backed decisions to keep the risk at the minimum level. Thanks to data scraping, that helps with-
  • Evaluating the value of your property
  • Comparing the rental yields
  • Retrieving the occupancy rates
  • Predicting the value of the market
4. Stock market
Stock trading has become one of the incredible dynamics in this tech savvy world. Companies are spending top dollars to understand the complexity and predictions of stock prices.
However, the main objective is to evaluate and uncover the predictions for change in the behavior of the stock market.
This all requires an in-depth analysis of historical data. And, to put everything into action, you must require data scraping solutions for scraping websites to delve out stock price data.
What to look after while web scraping for the stock market?
a. Equity Research
Equity Research refers to conducting performance analysis about the financial positions of the company.
The main aim behind this is to leverage the investment and stock analysis for recommending the feasibility of investment opportunity.
Therefore, financial institutions often use a web scraping program to attain valuable information analysis before project investment.
b. Stock market sentimental analysis
According to Strategic IC, companies perceive a 10% or more bump in their revenue within six to nine months. All you need to do is select the best web scraping tools to predict and concentrate on the stock market fluctuation.
Thus, you can scrap the data from financial news, social media reviews and posts, financial organizations, blogs and press releases to learn people’s attitudes towards the market.
  • Select a web scraping template to pull data instantly.
  • Enter your web address to create a web crawler
  • Give a command to the crawler to scan and download financial data
5. Travel, Airline, and Hotel industry
The data driven culture has already reached up to the travel and hospitality industry. It is resolving important problems related to travel and carrier itineraries.
From understanding the market trends to industrial revolution, data scraping has enabled vital insight through travel sites and aggregators.
However, companies working in the travel industry demands a lot of data insight consistently regarding the-
  • New flight and transportation carriers
  • No. of delays and on-time arrivals
  • Travel fares and train stations updates
  • Behavior and patterns of travelers
How to scrap Travel Data?
In order to scrap heaps of data pertaining to all the flights with a combination of cities and data, you need to-
Loop through these listicles information to form the website URL and fetch the data. After that, the string value gets attached to the respective site where you are looking for data extraction.
After appending with the base template, open the web page. Find the documented information & save in HTML form.
Now, close the URL and parse the extra data into a structural format. Make sure you have access to the relevant elements or tags. Save them into the CSV file. This is how you have pulled out information regarding-
  • Arrival and departure time in different cities
  • Flight code, cost, and duration
  • Name of the airlines
6. Sales lead
Have you heard of terabytes, megabytes, kilobytes, quintillion and gigabytes? These are units to measure the voluminous data leveraging businesses to make a better decision.
However, Forbes has conducted research concluding that, in each day, 2.5 quintillion data is being created. This represents that lead information finely exists all around the globe.
Additionally, when you go with web scraping, it dictates your pathways to collect the leads for your business. So, the more information you collect and the better you evaluate, the higher will be your sales lead.
Are you wondering where to start with collecting the lead?
  • Visit a few of the industry-specific websites
  • Check bio and social media profiles
  • Expose out the business directories or forums
How to start lead scraping?
Let say, you are looking for qualifying sales leads – email address, name of shops, contact details, and other additional information. Now, you search for ‘Salon Services in the US’ and get a list of directories as an online result.
So, instead of manual scraping, you go for web scraping either by hiring a professional web scraping company or employing code free software.
You have to copy the URL of the search result page and let it load in your in-built browser.
With this, you will get business lists of salon services. Select all and give the command to the action panel. Here, you have a detailed page of the business list. Extract the information and save your relevant data for all purposes.
7. Store location web scraping
Web scraping of data locators assists you in extracting the competitor’s data and potential sales lead to expanding your business globally.
It helps you in driving insight into relevant business locations where you can sell your products. Besides that, you can excavate the information about the businesses located nearby your store.
From where to scrap the store location’s data?
Various retail stores have store locator map on their website. By using the best web scraping software, you can parse and extract the information that uplifts your business with a competitive advantage.
Firstly, you have to download the web scraping software. Create the data extraction project for an automatic scraping of information without writing a single code.
Now add the command to your template to search for the real information. Search for the locations by clicking on the respective city/state code. Extract the data from the search results and save it in the CSV format.
Through this, you can get the respective data fields-
  • Amenities and products available
  • Store hours, fax, email address
  • Store name, ID, and Category
  • Payment options
The Final Words
Data Scraping is an imperative attempt for market share and performance analysis. It helps you in resolving the complicated problems connecting to your dashboard for all further purposes.
However, the most challenging part of data scraping is carefully extracting the information to meet the terms with legal permissions.
At Rentech Digital we provide the best web scraping services with brilliant intelligent software. Our massive speed and unlimited capabilities will help you deliver the results and get powerful data for your outbound sales.
Specify your custom-made requirement and we’ll provide you a ready-made database for the next strategic formulation.

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