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Setting up a new business? Or trying to grow an existing one? No matter which one it is, web scraping is the best way to collect data for growing your business today. It will help you get valuable insights, and information about your latest competition, no matter what you deal in – products or services. Although web scraping has been going on for quite some time, it has never been as heavily used, or as reliable as it is today.
So, what are the 13 reasons why web scraping is getting more popular since the past decade?
1. Service Providers
Web scraping service providers have evolved a lot and you can actually take advantage of them. With their high-end resources and expertise, they can help you obtain data that is important and related to your business, so that you can focus on extracting valuable insights from the delivered data.
2. Indispensable for analysts
If you need to analyze some trend, such as which product is more popular among which age group or which gender prefers what beauty products, you can get a web scraping service provider to help you obtain data that will help you conduct such an analysis, by gathering the data. This will not only help you analyze data and make good decisions, it will also help you gain valuable business insights, which will help you in the long run.
In this age, where we need everything fast, be it food or car, it makes no sense to hire someone to manually crawl web-pages. It would be costly, prone to errors and most importantly, would take a ton of time. In fact, the rate at which data is growing, a scraper can crawl as much data in a day, as a man could have in a year. Moreover, there is no need to worry about any fatigue. You can keep the server up and running the scraper all the time.
In case of web scraping, data is the product that you gain, using a service. This is the data, that you will leverage, to grow your business. In case the data contains errors, you will be facing the wrath of dirty data. However, today if you are using a good web scraping service, you can count on accuracy levels, that even your best employee can’t guarantee.
5. Brand Monitoring
Today, bad reviews or a bad incident can close a company. Whether you are an airlines company or you sell pet food, doesn’t matter. One wrong tweet, one bad review by a famous person, and you are done. Perhaps more than marketing, you need to make sure what the public thinks of you, your company, your services, and more. You need to find the weak spots and work on them. The best way to do this is by collecting data from review websites or comment pages, be it Twitter, or Instagram or an e-commerce portal that sells your products. You can even crawl media sites to check if your company got featured in any stories, positive or negative. Maintaining a good public perception can be worked on, by harnessing data scraping, and this is the new way to go about it.
6. Business Information
Making different departments such as sales, marketing, and product go online to find competitor details? Checking their prices? Their latest promotion tactics and banners on their websites? Or their new PR campaign that won a million likes? No more. Start making data work for you. Gather data using web scraping and start converting these data into decision-making solutions for you to take your business forward.
7. Data Augmentation
In case you have a huge bank of data but something is missing, instead of marking your entire data invalid, you can take the help of some service provider to help complete your data bank using some amazing web scraping. This, though seemingly small, can make a huge change. When you are trying to get some particular data set, where say you know the value of one column and the rest are blank, web scraping is really helpful. For example, you need to compare ten cars, but all you have is their names and model numbers. So you can actually note down the parameters you need to compare them by and let web scraping help you fill up these parameters for all the ten cars.
8. Real Estate Listing
Gathering information about every single property, listed in your city is no small task, and for this very reason, many companies are actually taking the help of web scraping services to help get more listings on their websites as well as help more people get their perfect property. Web scraping not only helps with the listing but also helps add pictures to them, which provides the customers with an initial idea.
9. Need for mining data for building machine learning models
Conducting a research experiment and needing a sizable number of images related to some specific keywords is an everyday story in many AI based companies today. But making ten interns waste their skills on this manually, would not be the most efficient way of going about things, when you can actually crawl the web and search for images tagged to those particular keywords and save them in separate folders so that you can conduct your research study and build your training and testing model with ease, without worrying about data collection and data quality.
10. Monitor price wars
With e-commerce sites stepping up the heat on real-time price wars, in case you are a business running a B2C or even a B2B platform, you need to get into the big game by participating in these price wars. That is possible only with real-time tracking of prices of products on your website, that your competitors sell as well. To facilitate that, a pricing system powered by web scraping is an essential component.
11. Stock Market Tracking
Your business can be allied with real-time stock market tracking perfectly, using web scraping. Although tools already exist, they are not very customizable and hence a real-time application that will provide you the updates and trends specific to your line of business would be very helpful, and easily achievable with automation.
12. Tracking latest trends
Dealing with communication or media? For the most part, you need to have men on the ground, but then, you can’t have men EVERYWHERE! That’s where data scraping comes in and serves as a “story gatherer” for you, getting you what’s hot and happening in the various circles in the industry, and what people are talking about.
13. The age of AI
Even Bots are getting outdated as they have certain limitations. They tend to follow a set of hard-coded rules. But using an intelligent web crawler will help you get better and more useful data with time. For example, initially, when it gathers data for you, you can train it that which of the data it found, was correct, and which one was are not. Through this continuous process of training, and testing, your crawler would get smarter, and so would your business.