The amount of data available to businesses is growing by leaps and bounds. Data is being generated by any and every activity on the internet such as E-commerce orders, sports scores, music being played, product reviews, social media activities and so on. All this data getting accumulated on the web hold immense value to the businesses looking to gain an edge over their competitors.
To put things in perspective, a recent study predicted that the world’s enterprise servers will process the virtual equivalent of a stack of books that would extend to more than 4.37 light-years to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system from Milky Way, by 2024. This astounding amount of data would certainly be valuable to the companies looking to leverage their business intelligence. All you need to do is identify the right data sources and find a reliable web scraping service provider to get the data for you on a continuous basis.
When it comes to acquiring data from the web, one of the common mistakes that everybody makes is to do it as a one-time activity and settle with whatever results they get. We explain why web data acquisition should be an ongoing activity rather than a one-time thing.
Data is an asset
Data is now considered an asset that businesses should be acquiring to stay relevant and have a clear sight into the past, which reveals a lot about the future. This data can come in handy if you find yourself in a saturated market with heavy competition from new entrants. To have a solid business strategy that’s destined to take your growth graph ahead, having historical and fresh data is imperative. Acquiring data on a continuous basis takes care of both these – you will have data for business intelligence, mining (applications include spotting trends, patterns) and also have data from any time range you might want to revisit. Continuous flow of data ensures that you’re always prepared to tackle business problems at any time. Since data is an asset, there’s no reason to not keep acquiring more of it.
Data aids critical decision-making
Business decisions need to be well thought out and should be on the basis of reliable data. Making business decisions can be tough, especially if you don’t have enough data at your disposal. Having more data gives you the confidence to make critical decisions and significantly reduces the chances of error. Recurring data extraction is essential to make better business decisions, which is crucial for any successful business.
There is more data than ever before
The convergence of mobile, social, cloud and big data technologies has lead to the mushrooming of new requirements and challenges. This includes getting the right data to the consumer faster, making sure the external data is reliable, validating the accuracy of data points, identifying gaps and synergies, spotting biased or skewed data etc. The information explosion has presented a host of challenges that are associated with just big data. However, gathering the right data on a continuous basis is without exception a necessity. This increasing amount of data is going to benefit the ones that are quick enough to get hold of it, in a timely fashion.
Why one-time data extraction is inefficient
As far as web data extraction goes, one-time data extraction is a big no. One of the reasons is that a web crawler needs at least three months to completely attain stability and extract all the required data points from a site in a way demanded by the project. This is also the reason why we have a 3 months lock-in period for the custom data extraction projects that we embark upon.
Focusing on acquiring the right data by asking what’s the key purpose of data acquisition at your company is the way to go in the present scenario. Considering the ever-increasing importance of data as a business intelligence tool, it’s not a good idea to overlook the benefits of a data-backed business strategy.
While most companies are now acquiring data for some business use case, many of these are limited to one time extractions. Although a one-time data extraction might seem to be good enough in certain cases, this shouldn’t stop you from acquiring data on a recurring basis to serve countless other business intelligence functions that can significantly improve your bottom-line.