Internet has become our one stop tool for everything from getting educated on a topic to staying updated to the latest news. For most people, it is rather an extension of their own minds where information available is infinite. The sophisticated data warehouse that it has become, internet can definitely serve as a great market research tool for businesses. In fact, researching and analysing the market would be incomplete without the internet now that every business is deep rooted in the web.
The market is always changing and evolving in a short notice with the fluctuating customer requirements. Aggressive ways of market research is essential to meet the new expectations and keep up with this highly dynamic market. Internet market research has its perks like accuracy of results, ease of execution and improved effectiveness. The dynamic nature of today’s market calls for better ways to collect and analyse data from the web. Here is why manual research is less efficient and how you can get better results by using some help from the technology.
Why Manual Research is less efficient
The amount of data created in seconds on the internet is unimaginable. It is not humanly possible to keep up with the pace at which data is created on the internet. Not to mention the struggle of manually identifying and collecting only the relevant data. Traditional market research firms employ humans to manually visit and collect relevant data from a list of sites or by searching the web. This is known to be holding back the full potential of internet market research.
It goes without saying that market research is extremely time sensitive. Being fast will mean the difference between success and failure of your business. Humans can never achieve the same speed as that of an automated computer program. When humans are employed for the task of online market research, you should expect less efficiency which in turn costs your firm missed projects.
Inaccuracies in the collected data is another reason why manual research is a bad idea. Humans make mistakes often which would make the gathered data less effective for analysis and could even result in critical losses. The time and effort spent in acquiring the data could be killing your productivity as well.
With an automated system in place to find and extract the newest data relevant for your market research firm, employees can use their valuable time to analyse it and take care of the more important things. This is exactly where web scraping technology can help your market research firm acquire all the data that it needs, in time.
How Web Scraping can help in Market Research
The importance of capturing new projects and opportunities in time cannot be stressed enough. Web scraping technologies can be used to scrape data from a set of websites where the data required for your market research firm is likely to surface. The frequency of data extraction can be set so that you get the data you need as fast as it surfaces on the web. The main benefits of using web scraping for market research is the speed and efficiency of the process. After a one time setup, the web scraping system can run in autopilot collecting the data for you. The only job left for humans then, would be to cherry pick the relevant information from the output data in organized format.
Employing web scraping for market research will also increase the productivity of research personnel since the boring and repetitive job of data collection is taken care of by the machines.
The Web Scraping process
Web scraping is a niche process which requires technically skilled labour and high end resources. The first step in the process is to define the sources. Sources are websites where the data required can be found. Once the sources are defined, crawlers have to be programmed to collect required data points from the web pages. Finally, the frequency of crawls are set as per the requirements. The web scraping setup can now run on its own, collecting the required data from the source websites in the set frequency. The output data might often need normalization and deduplication after which it can be saved into structured formats.
Web scraping technology can be used to automate and accelerate your manual market research thereby increasing its efficiency by many folds. With the fast changing market trends, it is better to put efficient technology to work instead of killing the valuable time of humans with repetitive tasks like collecting data from the web. This will help your market research firm capture new projects in no time since speed is not a constraint when it comes to an automated computer program fetching data.
If data for market research is your requirement, it’s time to talk to us.