It’s not a secret that every single choice made in business is of crucial importance and it can lead either to success or failure. You can definitely choose to be successful by making decisions that positively influence the further development of your business.
The way to success is a long and complicated one, and the services, tools, and techniques you use to manage and grow your business are of paramount importance. Nowadays almost every company depends on regular data updates to be able to effectively manage business processes and improve the overall efficiency.
Jeff Fochtman, vice-president of marketing Seagate Technology, in his interview with Forbes, speaks about the importance of data and various choices and challenges and states, “More than ever, data is going to be critical to humanity.”
Accurate data gives an opportunity to increase market awareness, implement more accurate targeting, improve customer service and stay above the competition.
However, acquiring such valuable data is not an easy task and is almost impossible without a professional system. Choosing a productive web scraping service or a tool to cover your data acquisition needs is crucial. So, let’s discover the main choices many companies, enterprises, startups, and individuals face on the way to empowering their businesses with the help of accurate and reliable data.
Choosing Between Services and Tools
The number of data scraping services and tools has greatly increased along with the necessity of growing businesses with the help of data. However, in order to reach the desired level of efficiency, first of all, you should have a clear understanding of both methods and decide which one to implement.
Let’s dive in to discover more.
- Data crawling tools help you acquire the needed information yourself, the majority of them are easy-to-implement and you can instantly download the data in a format best suitable for you. But this process is not as easy and effective as it may seem from the first sight; it has its drawbacks, which may affect the quality of your data. The relevance of the acquired data is a big question; moreover, you may face such problems as getting around APIs, CAPTCHAs, unattainable data, legal entanglements and so on.
- Data crawling services do all the scraping work themselves and provide you with the data needed. It saves you time and guarantees that the scraping work is implemented accurately and professionally. The majority of services even provide weekly/monthly data feeds. You receive the information in the desired format and then turn it into valuable and structured data based on your needs and requirements. You can never achieve the same results by scraping data manually. This method ensures that your work is done in time, as well as, gives an opportunity to turn to your service provider for any kind of additional support.
Data Scraping vs Data Crawling
To crawl or to scrape? That’s the question…
People tend to use these terms interchangeably, treat them as synonyms and think that they refer to the exact same process. Though these two techniques face almost the same challenges, they greatly differ. Both are valuable and important, but each of them has its own ways of working with the information, eventually, creating a funnel of “data crawling -> data scraping”. Understanding the nature and use-cases of these data extraction methods is very important in order to choose the one that will suit your needs and requirements at the right moment.
- Data scraping is essentially focused on analyzing specific pages, finding the right data and extracting the needed information. This process allows extracting raw data from different sources and giving an opportunity to the end user to transform it into something really valuable. This data can be used for such purposes as market research, data analysis, content management and so on. It can also be an irreplaceable tool for such industries as travel, finance, retail and e-commerce, education, real estate and many others.
- Data crawling is done at a large scale, visiting hundreds of URLs, searching and finding the information needed. Data crawling services search for the information on the Internet, index it, go through every page and link, withdrawing duplicate information, assuring the relevance and validity of the data found. When this job is done by a professional service provider, you don’t have to think about the large amounts of data, hundreds of web pages and downloaded documents and your bandwidth, as you receive only the requested data. Later on, the process is continued by data scraping, to collect the whole data found.
Choosing the Right Format
All we need is data, but the way we receive it plays an important role in the further analysis and usage of the data received. One of the greatest advantages of data crawling services is that the majority of vendors deliver data in a way you’re most comfortable with. You can receive the desired data via an API or in various formats, the most common ones being CSV, JSON, XML, and CMS. Just make sure to choose the service provider that is capable of delivering the data in a format that best suits your business needs.
The Choice is Yours!
Both scraping and crawling are equally important and demanded. You should be bearing in mind that data crawling is a requirement for data scraping, and to squeeze the most out of it, you may consider using them together. To achieve better results, you should choose a service that combines both techniques.
Efficient and professional data crawling is possible only by trusting this job to a team of professionals. Selecting an optimal data crawling service is of key importance as not all of them guarantee high-quality service and professional support. For example, Datahen provides advanced web scraping and web crawling services with the aim of helping enterprises and companies of various sizes to leverage their businesses and achieve higher levels, and millions of happy customers prove that reaching the desired level is not so difficult, when you have chosen the right service provider.
Data service provided by dedicated crawling companies is definitely more specific, professional and time-efficient, it costs less and guarantees accuracy. Choose an optimal one and save your time and efforts to implement an accurate analysis, which is essential for your business.