Data extraction sometimes known as data scraping or web harvesting is the way data is mined from websites on the internet. This means that the data on the web cannot be downloaded easily but it can be viewed via a web browser. The web is the largest source of data and the data is growing rapidly.

Web data is beneficial to media companies, research firms, government bodies and E-commerce firms among many other firms. When it comes to healthcare, data can help with research as well as making extrapolations on the spread of diseases.

web scarpping

There are numerous sites on the web such as e-commerce websites, classifieds sites, and many others with huge amounts of data by these sites don’t offer a way to store their data to a local storage. While it is easy to copy paste this data from the websites to your local storage, it is not convenient especially for practical use cases for businesses.

Fortunately, you can do it by scrapping or extracting the data using automated techniques in a more professional and precise manner. A data scrapping setup accesses websites just like web browsers do, but instead of showing the results on a screen, it stores the data to a local or cloud storage.
You should also understand that there are websites that can detect your activities during web scrapping and may implement some anti-scraping measures by blocking your IP address to stop you from extracting the data. To avoid your IP from being blocked, you can manually set up proxies especially if you are accessing the website from a specific country. Proxies are very helpful for anonymous web data scraping and We recommend you use the residential IPs for scraping to avoid IP ban.
Today, most of the businesses depend on data to function. Most of them use data to analyze competitions and market research. But scrapping large amounts of data from the web hasn’t and is still a huge challenge for many firms especially companies that don’t use the required techniques for scrapping the data.
But it doesn’t have to be that tough when it comes to data extraction and for that reason; we’ve shared ways on how you can extract data from the web. Just keep reading.

1. Data Extraction Tools

Truth be told: It can be hard to extract data by use of data extraction vendors especially if you don’t have the budget to outsource the data extraction process. For that reason, you can opt for DIY data extraction tools.

The good thing about the DIY tools is that they are easy to use since they are designed with a point and click interface to simplify the whole process. These tools are perfect for companies that are just starting out with little or no budget for data scraping. These tools are budget-friendly and some are even free.

Note that the DIY tools have huge drawbacks when it comes to data extraction since they cannot extract data from complex websites and offer limited functionality. They also inefficient. It is also difficult to maintain these tools since they are rigid and less flexible. They require close attention when scraping data and most of the time they require adjustments every time.  

However, they still have their good side in that they don’t require you to be an expert to configure and use them which makes them ideal for people who are not techies but they can only scrap simple and small-scale data.

2. Outsource Data Extraction to a DaaS

If you want to extract data from the web in an efficient and accurate manner, then you may consider outsourcing the data extraction project to a DaaS provider. Outsourcing data extraction to DaaS provider gives you peace of mind since you will not have to worry about the crawler setup and other things involved in the process.

data extraction

The good thing about outsourcing the project to a DaaS provider is that these companies have the required expertise and infrastructure to facilitate seamless data extraction and in fact, it can be cheaper than when you decide to DIY.

You will just serve the DaaS provider with your requirements and leave all the work to the company. Details you might be required to provide include data points, websites where the data is to be extracted, regularity of crawl, the format of the data and how you want the data to be delivered to you.

3. In-Hose Data Extraction

Another web data extraction method is the in-house data extraction, but this requires a company to be technically rich. Web data extraction isn’t an easy process and sometimes may require expert programmers to code the crawler, debug, monitor and carry own with the extraction exercise. Aside from requiring a skilled team, the crawling job needs to be done on a sophisticated infrastructure.

The good thing about this data extraction method is that you have total ownership and control over the extraction process. The downside is that maintaining the crawler is hectic and also infrastructure is costly.

Conclusion

These are not the only techniques for web data extraction. There are many you can use but you need to understand the pros and cons of each one to reduce future headaches.