Web data acquisition has been making ripples across various industries in the last few years. Newer businesses can employ scraping to gain quick market insights and equip themselves to take on their competitors. This works like clockwork if you know how to do the analysis right. Before we jump into that, there is the technical aspect of data extraction. Should your company use a scraping tool to get the required data from the web? Although this sounds like an easy solution, there is more to it than what meets the eye. We explain why it’s better to go with a dedicated web scraping service to cover your data acquisition needs rather than going by the scraping tool route.
Although this might come as a surprise, the cost of getting data from employing a data scraping tool along with an IT personnel who can get it done would exceed the cost of a good subscription based data service provider. Not every company has the necessary resources needed to run a web crawler in-house. By depending on a Data service provider, you will save the cost of software, resources and labor required to run web crawling in the firm. Besides, you will also end up having more time and less worries. More of your time and effort can therefore go into the analysis part which is crucial to you as a business owner.
A DIY scraping tool might be able to get you data, but the accuracy and relevance of the acquired data will vary. You might be able to get it right with a particular website, but that might not be the case with another. This gives uncertainty to the results of your data acquisition and could even be disastrous for your business. On the other hand, a good scraping service will give you highly refined data which is in a ready to consume form.
Considering the high resource requirements of the process, your scraping tool is likely to be much slower than a reputed service that has got the right infrastructure and resources to scrape data from the web efficiently. It might not be feasible for your firm to acquire and manage the same setup since that could affect the focus of your business.
Web scrapers collect data into a dump file which would be huge in size. You will have to do a lot of tidying up in this to get data in a usable format. With the scraping tools route, you would be looking for more tools to clean up the data collected. This is a waste of time and effort that you could use in much better aspects of your business. Whereas with a service, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up of the data as it comes with the service. You get the data in a plug and use format which gives you more time to do better things.
Sometimes, websites that you want to scrape data from might have policies discouraging the act. You wouldn’t want to act against their policies being ignorant of their existence and get into legal trouble. With a data extraction service, you don’t have to worry about these. A well-established data scraping provider will definitely follow the rules and policies set by the website. This would mean you can be relieved of such worries and go ahead with finding trends and ideas from the data that they provide.
This is so far the best advantage of going with a scraping service rather than a tool. Since all the things related to data acquisition is dealt by the scraping service provider, you would have more time for analysing and deriving useful business decisions from this data. Being the business owner, analysing the data with care should be your highest priority. Since using a scraping tool to acquire data will cost you more time and effort, the analysis part is definitely going to suffer which defies your whole purpose.
It is up to you to choose between a scraper tool and a dedicated service. Being the business owner, it i s much better for you to stay away from the technical aspects of data extraction and focus on deriving a better business strategy from the data. When you have made up your mind to go with a data scraping service, it is important to choose the right web crawling service for maximum benefits.