The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Web Scraping Data

Knowledge is power. Info is liberating." To gain access to the perfect items of information, you’re first going to need to collect some data. Web scraping, data mining and web crawling are effective methods that permit you to simply compile and store info from websites on the internet.

In this piece we will investigate what is web scraping, the benefits and disadvantages of web scraping and some of the beneficial use cases for scraping data.

What is web scraping?
Web scraping refers to creating or using a computer software to extract data from total websites or a few web pages. Additionally when you carry out web scraping, you can either download the complete web page or key points such as the tag or article body content material for further analysis.


What are the benefits of web scraping for enterprise?
Achieve Automation
Strong web scrapers help you automatically extract data from websites, this allows you or your co-workers to save lots of time that may’ve have otherwise been spent on mundane data collection tasks. It additionally means that you may acquire data at higher volume than a single human could ever hope to achieve.

Additionally it’s potential for you to create sophisticated web bots to automate online activities with either web scraping software or using a programming language akin to javascript, python, go or php.

Business Intelligence & Insights
Web scraping data from the internet permits you to seek for competitor prices, monitor their marketing activity and to swiftly market research your trade online. By downloading, cleaning and analysing data at significant quantity, you’ll be able to build a better image of your market, your competitor’s activity which in turn will lead to better enterprise choice making.

Unique and rich datasets
The internet provides you with a rich amount of text, image, video and numerical data and presently incorporates at the least 6.05 billion pages. Depending upon what your objective is, you'll find relevant websites, setup website crawlers and then make your own customized dataset for analysis.

For instance, let’s fake you’re considering UK football and need to understand the sports market in depth.

You could setup webscapers to assemble the following info:

Video Content: To download the entire football games from YouTube or Facebook.com.
Football Statistics: You would download your desired crew’s historical match statistics.
WhoScored – Goal Data.
SoccerStats.
Betting Odds: You could accumulate the betting odds for football matches from bookmaker’s resembling Bet365 or from player betting exchanges comparable to Betfair or Smarkets.
Create applications for tools that don’t have a public developer API
By web scraping data, you will by no means need to rely on the website releasing a public application programming interface (API) to access the data which they show on their webpages. There are several benefits to web scraping in comparison to accessing a public API:

You'll be able to access and acquire any data that's available on their website.
You are not limited to a particular number of queries.
You don’t must sign up for an API key or must abide by their rules.
Effective Data Administration
Instead of copying and pasting data from the internet, you can choose what data you'll like to gather from a range of websites, then you'll be able to accurately gather it with web scraping. For more advanced web scraping / crawling techniques your data will be stored within a cloud database, and will likely be running on a each day basis.

Storing data with automated software and programs means that your company, operations or workers can spend less time copying and pasting data and more time on artistic work.

What are the disadvantages?
You will have to learn programming, use web scraping software or to pay a developer
In case you are looking to gather and organise an unlimited quantity of data from the internet, you will find that existing web scraping software is limited in functionality. Although the software might be good for extracting several components from a web web page, as soon as you could crawl a number of websites they're less effective.

Due to this fact you will have to either spend money on learning web scraping strategies in a programming language reminiscent of javascript, python, ruby, go or php. Alternatively you'll be able to hire a freelance web scraping developer, regardless each of those approaches will add an overhead to your data collection operations.

Websites frequently change their structure and crawlers require upkeep
As websites often change their HTML construction, typically your crawlers will break. Whether or not you’re using web scraping software otherwise you’re writing the web scraping code, there is a certain amount of maintenance that needs to be recurrently performed to keep your data collection pipelines clean and operational.

For each website that you simply write a custom encoding script, adds on a certain quantity of technical debt. If lots of websites that you simply’re accumulating data from instantly decide to redesign their websites, you will need to put money into fixing your crawlers.

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