Data is the ultimate leveller. Be it a startup, a corporate group or a freelancer – everybody loves to have data that can drive them to a decision, help them gain competitive advantage and get strategic insights. Businesses also have access to similar stacks of technology. It is the data that is an ultimate differentiator because it can turn the tables when a business knows how to use it! Businesses are vying for more and more data, and that’s where data scraping comes in the picture.
What is data scraping?
Data extraction is the technique to scrape through online content to get information. It uses an array of tools that crawls through online resources, look for patterns and relevant data that a business can use and integrate. It is an efficient process that changes how fast a business can analyse the information available across the World Wide Web. From productivity to market research, it transforms how a business operates.
Also, known as web scraping, web harvesting or screen scrapping, the automated process takes the unorganised data and turns it into structured data that can save companies irreplaceable hours of manual entry and money. The tools of web scraping aren’t new, but in the wake of the data revolution, they are gaining momentum and finding themselves to be the talk of the town. The process consists of navigating the web by the robot, using a special text string for a search pattern and compiling it in a structured pattern in an excel sheet.
Data scraping is the stepping stone of business intelligence, strategy making and market research. Its scope lies beyond just extracting the business information and compiling it. Today, the web data scraping software ranges from semi-automated to fully automated ecosystems that can navigate through images, links, and almost any range of data available on the web. Some of the examples of web scraping are:
- Research for Business Intelligence / Content
- Price comparison.
- Finding B2B sales lead by crawling through data on the web
- Google shopping or sending product data from one website to another
The process of data scraping is relatively easy. However, the benefits it can bring onboard are massive! Here’s the lowdown what it can do for your business
Why do businesses need data scraping?
The experts predict an exponential trend of growth in big data in 2020 and beyond. The digital ecosystem is expected to have a more than 50-fold growth by the end of this decade. The machine-generated data is witnessing a surge and an overall ten times growth than the traditional data. With data scraping, crawling through the complex and challenging layers of Data scraping automates and extracts the large-scale data and makes it consumable. Data extraction works like a charm for large-scale operations and data within a heavily regulated industry such as healthcare and finance.
It is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of data manually and to err is human. According to this source, the customer database is getting doubled yearly, and 33 per cent of businesses have more than 100,000 records of customers and prospects in the database while 25 per cent of the B2B database is inaccurate and 60 per cent of the data is unreliable. It is not possible to scour through such vast data and update it for clean and verified information manually. Bad quality data can impact your business adversely. This is why you need a data scraping service that can extract accurate data and nullify the effects of poor data on the business.
Brings Value to Data
Every business has data, but how many of them can use it? Data scraping adds density and gravitas to the data that can be translated into real, actionable insights. It saves you time, manual efforts and money as it is an automated process and doesn’t require manual intervention. Besides, the data scraped by web scraping is accurate and has a minimal scope of error.
Fuels Market Research
To stay in the game, you need to understand what other players are up to. A business can alter its strategy and marketing campaign to counter its competitors. It is only possible if you know the data they are leveraging and what data are they basing their research on. However, browsing through each website can be time-consuming and exhausting. Data scraping helps businesses to keep pace with changing marketing landscape. You can dig deeper into the critical information by scraping important links and get the recent information on your competitors.
Arms you with the market knowledge
Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.
What do your customers want? What are they looking for? Do they need your product? Do you know the products your competitors’ are working on or the price points, feature and options available in the market? Data extraction helps you to dig out relevant information that you need to march forward in the market. When you visit a client’s office, you are prepared and equipped with the knowledge of your rival players and your customers’ expectations. Since you are monitoring the market firsthand, you know the needs and challenges faced by the customers as well. Is it the price that you need to work on or is it the lack of personalisation? You can enhance your product mix and can be a pioneer in your product or service domain.
Enhances the content and pushes the SEO
The right SEO strategy or the content that brings traffic doesn’t have to be elusive anymore. Data extraction tools help you to pull out relevant keywords your competitors are using to craft a winning SEO strategy! You can create a blueprint for compiling content and SEO strategy to ensure that you never lag! If you think how does SEO or content doesn’t matter, have a look at this data:
Ninety per cent of B2B leads to use the internet to search for the products before the final purchase decision.Seventy-one per cent of clients use generic terms to search for a business/ product or service.
B2B decision-makers don’t prefer to meet in-person until they are halfway in the sales funnel and are ready to discuss price. It means at least 12 online searches for a business and its content.
This Forrester report concludes that a business looks at least three pieces of content online before they decide to contact you.
“The Changing Face of B2B Marketing” by Google also predicts the future as it explains that more than 40 per cent of B2B customers are searching for a business online on their smartphones!
Sixty-one per cent of B2B clients prefer to browse through the review aggregator sites for an unbiased opinion. Clutch performed a study and proved that each positive review brought at least 20 profile view for a website.
So, if your marketing strategy underestimates the value of SEO and content, you are in a major loss, and if your competitor has a website optimised for smartphone viewing and enhanced the content with keywords, unfortunately, there is no coming back. Data extraction, however, lets you stay on track by pulling out information such as which content or keywords are landing on the page. The data scraping tools can also extract long-tail keywords, images, graphics and links your competitors are using to stay search-engine relevant.
Also Read: The Ultimate B2B SEO Guide
Social Media Research for Business Intelligence or Sentiment Analysis
With the help of data extraction tools, a business can improve its social media policy. The tools can track the information of your customers on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook so that you can identify them and create a ‘user persona’ and base your marketing campaign on it. The similar strategy can be used to generate leads through blogs, personal social media accounts and LinkedIn as well. Manually sifting through such data can be time-consuming and prone to errors. However, extracting the data ensures a reliable and relevant lead generation ecosystem is created in the first place, with minimal manual intervention and in the least possible time!
You can use the same tools to understand what your customers think about you! Are they happy with your product or services? What is their feedback regarding your products and how you can address them? This will help you overcome the shortcomings in the marketing campaign and make it a better one, leaving you with happy customers and a wholesome winning product! You can also data scrape your competitors’ products so that you know what kind of content is getting traction on their page and how you can improve!’
Also Read: B2B Facebook Advertising – The Complete Guide to Optimizing Cost
Increases Employee Productivity
Data scraping takes the manual intervention out of the equation. Be it B2B sales leads, market research or price comparison- scraping the data automates the entire business process. Your valuable manual resources and their time are spared and can be allocated for important tasks. Besides, when your employees aren’t working on such humdrum tasks that don’t fuel their creativity, they work better and has more job satisfaction.
Performs Financial Research in a jiffy
A financial business can’t keep track of and extract the financial statement of multiple users at the same time and analyse the performance of financial decisions manually. However, it can make a smart choice of scraping the data! If you are a financial advisor or an investment banker, you need to be accurate with advice and insights, which is only possible with the automated web data scraping.
Data scraping is a godsend for insurance companies as they can now scrape the data of multiple users, assess the risk and devise a new product based on the research.
Stay Trend-Savvy and Aware with Online Reputation Management
A business can extract the data of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to understand the latest trends and keep track of mentions. If your team is using multiple personal and professional accounts, you can use the same tool to understand the tonality and behaviour of the members in different countries or cities to analyse how they are representing you on a social channel. Businesses are using the extracted information to create a dialogue with a customer and win their hearts! They are also effectively altering their marketing campaign to address them and design products that can take them to the top!
Data Scraping for Business Intelligence: Why does it make sense?
Companies need to have a structured and accurate data feed to base insights on it and drive business intelligence analytics. The derived intelligence can affect a lot of factors such as employee satisfaction, productivity, financial strategy, inventory management and most importantly, how your customers feel about you!
Web scraping for business intelligence can pave the way for a business’s future product research and market strategy, and it is just the smarter way to understand what you are dealing with! Besides offering you control and peace of mind as it tackles the enormous data, it helps you to prepare for the market and gives deeper insight into what everyone else is doing in your domain. When you have a clear understanding of your competitors’ and their strategy that is a battle half won!
Data Scraping Services: Why you need to pick the right service and partner?
It is the grey area that demands attention and concern. A business wants to make the most of data, but it needs to partner with the right database management company that isn’t a jack-of-all-trades but specialises in the area and can offer you both advanced as well as customised services exclusively. Also, you would like to collaborate with a service provider that has expertise in handling diverse data and offer relevant, actionable insights.
When it comes to data solutions, BizProspex fits the bill. Scraping, mining, cleaning – we do all-things data! And our journey with data starts with data mining because the data needs to be accurate and reliable to base insights upon. Scraping the datasets put the data in a structured form to make it suitable for business intelligence, analysis and integration with business processes. The data is available in an array of convenient formats. Our BI services are highly personalised and capable of fulfilling different requirements of data for several business processes through its traditional and disruptive business intelligence platforms. Our comprehensive data scraping solutions include, but aren’t limited to:
ü Harvesting data from the internet and changing it to your preferred format
ü Data mining to make data usable, industry-relevant and accurate
ü Offering business intelligence, a deeper analysis of market and insights from websites, blogs and content aggregator sites
ü Compiling social media feeds for sentiment analysis
ü Monitoring prices and offering real-time price comparison, product features, mortgage rates, insurance premiums and general updates
ü Presenting a competitive analysis of a business vis-à-vis other businesses in the same domain
ü Automation of SEO keywords and content (text, images, vectors, RSS feeds, reviews and so on)
As the internet grows astronomically and data becomes the backbone of business intelligence, it becomes crucial for a business to leverage web data scraping and gain competitive advantage.