We all know that “Information is wealth.” And the 21st-century digital world is all about acquiring growth and wealth through information. Web scraping is the most effective method that allows you to collect information for websites and then helps you to compile and store them as ready-made data sets.Technology is ever-evolving, and today we have the facility to automate most things. Gone are the days of manual visits to web pages and gathering the necessary data. Web scraper is an automated tool that extracts information across the Internet. The bots in the web scraper tool crawl through the web pages, collect the required information, and organize them into usable data sets.In this article, we will help you understand everything about web scraping, including its meaning, applications, and advantages.
What is web scraping?Web scraping is the process of extracting large chunks of targeted data from websites. Once the data is collected, it will be stored in a structured format, which can be used for research and taking data-driven decisions.
In the technical aspects, there are two significant parts of the web scraping tool – crawler and scraper.
- Crawler – Crawler, an AI algorithm, performs the process of browning through the websites to read the open-source data and find the required data by checking the links scattered across the internet.
- Scraper – Once the crawler finds the data, the scraper comes into action and extracts the data from the websites.
On the front-end, web scraping involves three steps:
- Data collection – In this step, the crawler will locate the data, and the scraper will extract it.
- Data parsing and transformation – The second step involves the transformation of the collected data into a structured format dataset, which can be used for further data manipulation and analysis.
- Data Storage – The structured datasets will then be stored in the required formats like JSON, XML or CSV files on the cloud.
Applications of web scrapingThere are wide use cases and applications of web scraping. Analysts, marketers, researchers, academicians, journalists, web developers, digital marketers, and data scientists use web scraping extensively to collect the open data available on the Internet. Each individual and business will have its own specific need for extracting data. We have listed a few common applications of web scraping here.
Market demand analysis
Benefits of web scraping
Automated data collection
Cost and time-efficient
Accurate and rich datasets
Data-driven decision making
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