In the past, gathering data from the web has been done manually and was a very difficult and time-consuming process. Now every business can take benefit of outsourcing this task to a web crawling service that can provide you with a large volume of data by crawling the web at a scale. Still not sure whether you should invest in web extraction to grow your business? Read on to learn about the benefits and limitations of using web scraping for business needs.

Web Scraping. Data Mining, Web Crawling, Crawling, Scraping, Crawler.
Table of content
What is Web Scraping?
Why does Business Require Web Scraping or a Web Crawler?
The Benefits of Web Scraping.
The Limitations of Web Scraping.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping typically extracts large amounts of data from websites for a variety of uses such as price monitoring, enriching machine learning models, financial data aggregation, monitoring consumer sentiment, news tracking, etc. Browsers show data from a website. However, manually copy data from multiple sources for retrieval in a central place can be very tedious and time-consuming. Web scraping tools essentially automate this manual process.

“Web scraping,” also called crawling or spidering, is the automated gathering of data from an online source usually from a website. While Extraction is a great way to get massive amounts of data in relatively short timeframes, it does add stress to the server where the source hosted.

Despite its legal challenges, web extraction remains popular even in 2019. The prominence and need for analytics have risen multifold. This, in turn, means various learning models and analytics engines need more raw data. Web scraping remains a popular way to collect information. With the rise of programming languages such a Python, web scraping has made significant leaps.

Why does Business Require Web Scraping or a Web Crawler?
Whether it is a commencement of a new project or introduction of a new strategy for an existing business, there must be data collected and analyzed to make a decision. To overcome this problem where web scraping comes into the picture.

The uses of the data extracted from scraping a website are unlimited. It unlocks doors of advanced innovations by enabling easy access to web data, web scraping forces that ultimately enhance the value proposition of a business.

It helps in faster learning, testing, and executing the ideas into the business.

The Benefits of Web Scraping.
The major benefits of web scraping services are explained in the following points.

Inexpensive
Web Extraction services provide a vital service at a low cost. It is paramount that data is managed back from webpages and analyzed so that the internet functions regularly. Web crawling services do the job in an effective and budget-friendly manner.

Easy to implement
web harvesting services use the proper device to extract data, you are assured that you are not only getting data from a single page but from the entire domain. This means that with just an onetime investment, a lot of data can be collected.

Low maintenance and speed
One aspect that is often overlooked when introducing new services is the maintenance cost. Long term maintenance costs can make the project budget to spiral out of control. Thankfully, web Crawling technologies need very little to no maintenance over a long time. Another thing that must also be considered is the speed with which web extraction services do their job. A job that could take a person week is completed in a matter of hours.

Accuracy
The web extraction services are not only fast, but they are also accurate too. Simple errors in data extraction can make major mistakes later on. The correct extraction of any type of data is thus very important. In websites that deal with pricing data, sales prices, real estate numbers, or any kind of financial data, accuracy is greatly important.

The Limitations of Web Scraping.
The major limitations of web extraction services are explained in the following points.

Difficult to analyze
For anybody who is not a specialist, the extracting processes are confusing to read. Although this is not a major problem, some errors could be fixed faster if it was easier to read for more software developers.

Data analysis
The data that has been extracted will first need to be treated so that they can be easily understood. In some cases, this might take a long time and a lot of energy to complete.

Time
It is normal for new data extraction applications to take some time in the beginning as the software often has a learning curve. Sometimes web scraping services take time to become familiar with the core application and need to adjust to the scrapping language. This means that such services can take some days before they are up and running at full speed.

Speed and protection policies
Most web scrapping services are slower than API calls and another problem is the websites that do not allow screen scraping. In such cases, web extraction services are rendered useless. Also, if the developer of the website decides to introduce some changes in the code, the scraping service might stop working.

Want to Learn More?
Is Web Data Scraping Legal?

Website Crawling: A Guide on Everything You Need to Know

10 Myths about Web Scraping Services

A Detailed Overview of Web Crawlers

List of Applications Where Web Scraping Plays a Massive Role

HOW WEB SCRAPING MATTERS IN 2020?

What is Web Scraping: Introduction, Applications and Best Practices

Author's Bio: 

Hir Infotech is a leading global outsourcing company with its core focus on offering web scraping, data extraction, lead generation, data scraping, Data Processing, Digital marketing, Web Design & Development, Web Research services and developing web crawler, web scraper, web spiders, harvester, bot crawlers, and aggregators’ softwares. Our team of dedicated and committed professionals is a unique combination of strategy, creativity, and technology.