We are in a data-centric world, where data is the most powerful commodity of all. We use a large amount of data for various purposes like machine learning, data mining, market research, financial research, etc. To get data of such scale and complexity, we scrape the source websites. Hence, web scraping has become an important need of the hour for the companies which require a large amount of data.
An important fact about web scraping is that there is no out-of-the-box solution that can extract data from any website. The next question is how do companies approach web scraping? Do they build an in-house team, or do they outsource to dedicated web scraping services companies? (Since we are talking about scraping vast amount of data of varying complexity, the DIY tools are out of the question).
We can hire a team of experts in the field to set up a team that can scrape data according to the requirement. The companies need not worry about the privacy of the data being scraped. This is a completely viable option with a few disadvantages as well. Apart from scraping the data, they cannot be utilized in other projects.
The overhead of setting up and maintenance of such a team can be avoided by outsourcing to a dedicated service that can be paid according to the projects undertaken, support and nothing more.
The expertise of an in-house team is also limited to the experience and expertise of the team, whereas a dedicated web scraping service has the expertise of all its developers. Apart from these,
The more the demand for the data, the more complex it becomes to scrape it. Not just the DIY tools, but even the in-house teams struggle a lot when the complexity of the websites increases. Many sites are adopting AJAX-based infinite scrolling to improve the user experience.
This makes scraping more complex. Such dynamic coding practices would render most DIY tools and even some In house teams inefficient and useless. What’s needed here is a fully customizable setup and a dedicated approach where a combination of manual and automated layers used to figure out how the website receives AJAX calls to mimic them using the custom-built crawler. As the complexity of websites keeps increasing over time, the need for a customizable solution becomes an obvious answer rather than a tool or an in-house team.
Many entrepreneurs feel the need to reinvent the wheel. They have the urge to carry out a process in-house rather than outsourcing it. Of course, some processes are better done in-house, and a great example is customer support. Since the complexities associated with large scale web data extraction are too niche to master by a company that’s not fully into it, this can turn out to be a fatal mistake. After working with an outsourced service, many companies went ahead to build in house teams and later they came back to the service providers after facing many such hurdles.
Extracting millions of webpages simultaneously and processing all of it into structured machine-readable data is the real challenge. One of the USPs of the web scraping solution is the scalability aspect of it. With the clusters of high-performance servers that are scattered across geographies, Services like PromptCloud built up a rock-solid infrastructure to extract web data at scale.
It is a very complex process to extract the information. And it is even more challenging to turn the unstructured data in the web into perfectly structured and clean machine-readable data. The quality of data is something many services like PromptCloud take pride in.
In other words, the unstructured data is of no use. There is no way a human could make sense of the vast amounts of data if it is not machine-readable. At the same time, we cannot set up a fully functioning web crawling setup and forget about the rest. The web is highly dynamic.
Maintaining the data quality needs consistent effort and close monitoring using both manual and automated layers. This is because websites change their structures quite frequently which could render the crawler faulty or bring it to a halt, both of which will affect the output data. Data quality assurance and timely maintenance are integral to running a web crawling setup. At solution providers like PromptCloud, they take end-to-end ownership of these aspects.
Many clients used to have their web crawling setup but wanted to do away with the complications and hassles of the process. This is a great decision from a business standpoint. Any business needs to have its sole focus set on its core offering to grow and succeed. Especially considering the competition is at a peak in all markets now.
The setup, constant maintenance, and all the other complications that come with web data extraction can easily hog your internal resources, taking a toll on your business.
Web scraping requires a team of talented developers to setup and deploy the crawlers on optimized servers for the extraction. As it is technically a demanding process. But, the core focus of many businesses in need of such data needs to focus on specializing in data extraction as they have their core focus.
Understandably, you would need to depend on a service provider to extract web data for you. With years of expertise in the web data extraction space, Promptcloud is now able to take up web scraping projects of any complexity and scale.
It is inevitable for companies to explore ways to efficiently acquire immensely cast and powerful data. This is available on the web. It is with the above-discussed facts about web data extraction or web scraping. Outsourcing fully managed customized solution providers like PromptCloud is the better option. Than an In-house team or DYI tools.