If you are looking for ways to extract data from websites using automation, web crawling is the best method to go about doing it. A web crawler can help you acquire the data you need regardless of your use case or industry vertical. Web crawlers are a programs written specifically to traverse pages of select websites in order to scrape required data points from them. If large scale data extraction is your requirement, this web crawler has to be supported with adequate resources to run it. Resources required for the crawler include high-end web servers, an extensive tech stack and sufficient storage space to save the scraped data.
How does web crawling work
Web crawlers for data extraction are built by technical personnel with programming skills. The first step in the process is identifying sources for data extraction. The sources have to be reliable sites since the quality of data and smoothness of the process will depend on the source websites. Once the sources are defined, the data points that have to be extracted from these sources must be defined. Next step is to program the crawler to navigate through the list of websites and extract the required data points. In order to extract data points, the person setting up the crawler has to find out html tags associated with every data point that is required. Once the setup is done, the crawler can be run in desired frequency depending upon the specific data requirements.
What data can you acquire with web crawling
There is no limit as to what data you can get from the web using a web crawler. Some great applications of web crawling are in ecommerce, recruitment, content aggregation, brand monitoring, business intelligence, manufacturing and market research. With its automation capabilities, robustness, speed and flexibility to scale up, web crawling is the best solution for acquiring data for any of these domains.