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7 Basic Questions You Should Have Answers to Before Joining Your Business With Web Scraping


Nov 20, 2019 #Business

It might sound like a wise move to introduce web scraping directly into your business.

Just think about it for a moment. Everyone is doing it. The big guys like Walmart and Amazon are doing it, and so do the small guys. It is like a race because of all the benefits of using the tools. But you need to exercise a little patience and understand some things.

The underlying advantage is that web scraping allows a business to grow fast. It is a technique that ensures a faster turn around. In today’s world, many businesses have been scraping valuable data over the internet. Thanks to tools like Zenserp, this can help in making decisions through the availability of insightful and big data.

Although the technology is a bit new, many professionals are working without a deep understanding of the requirements of introducing web scraping to their business.

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For that Reason, this Article Will Make Things Clearer.

1. What Do you Know About Web Scraping?

The technique has different names which include web data extraction, screen scraping, and harvesting. Web scraping is the process of extracting a large amount of data from online websites. This extracted data is kept in a local file on the doer’s computer or to any database in the format of a table or spreadsheet.

Although all websites show data that can be viewed only with the aid of a web browser, you don’t have a special meaning to store this data for your personal use. The size of data is usually humongous and difficult to copy and paste manually on a spreadsheet. With tools like Zenserp, things have been easier. With the process of web scraping, this difficult task is automated. It will consume less time and the same task will be performed in a shorter time than you can imagine.

2. What is the Work of a Web Scraper or Crawler?

This is a kind of software or computer program that makes the web scraping process automated.

3. What’s the Reason for Using a Web Scraper for Scraping Data?

Many of the websites you see do not have an API which will allow people to scrape or extract their data. Only about 1 percent of them have API that is really active. But, the available APIs are usually lacking in some necessary aspects. To explain better, these APIs will not work effectively because of the websites’ designs and it can cost more. This is why it is required to use a third party for extracting data. This will lower the amount you will spend on web scraping.

4. Is There Any Other Way to Extract Data on the Internet?

There are other ways to get data from the internet. But it is always better to use web scraping. Below are three of the methods you can carry out to get data from the internet:

  • Use self-service tools
  • Code it yourself
  • Data as a service

5. What does ‘Code it Yourself’ Mean?

This question means you might not have the technical know-how in the first place. The idea is simple to understand anyway. If you don’t have a technical team that can handle it, you can develop a web scraper for yourself. You will need any of the technologies below:

  • Nokogiri
  • Scrappy
  • Apache Nutch

6. What is the Investment Like if I Want to Code Things Myself?

Although the options might look cheaper, it requires a lot more. These are the things you will need to do:

  • Pay servers, developers, etc.
  • Usually, it will take a developer about 10 hours to code you a web scraper.
  • It will then take you between 4 and 6 months to develop a kind of stable infrastructure for the developed web scrapers.
  • You will be required to develop the process for Q&A and maintenance.

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7. Are there Disadvantages And Other Disadvantages of Coding it Yourself?

Yes, there are.

Here are the Benefits

  • You are the owner of the source code and you will have access to it.
  • You can exercise control over the extraction of data

Here are the Disadvantages

  • It will cost more if you compare DIY tools and DaaS 
  • It is slow to market
  • If you are working with a novice, the damage can be serious
  • The process demands lots of human resources

By ozfetch