What is Web Scraping? What is It Used For?

Big data is extremely valuable in today's increasingly data-driven society. It is predicted that the big data industry will increase from $162.6 billion in 2021 to $273.4 billion in 2026, according to a recent analysis from Research and Markets.

You must use web scraping to get data from freely accessible sources, such as web pages. Even if there are many online scraping programs accessible, you may learn a practical programming language like Python and create your own custom code rapidly and accurately scrape webpages.

But what is web scraping really, and what are some of its applications? These questions will be addressed in this post, along with practical advice that will help you start web scraping right now.


What is Web Scraping?

Web scraping, sometimes referred to as online data extraction and web harvesting is the process of obtaining information from a website. Although you can accomplish this manually, automated web scraping solutions can complete tasks more rapidly and effectively when projects call for data to be retrieved from hundreds or even thousands of online pages.

Web scraping technologies gather and export extracted data into a spreadsheet, central local database, or API for in-depth analysis.

Web crawlers and online scrapers work together to extract particular data from web pages. Web scraping software can connect to the internet through HTTP or a web browser.

It first has to retrieve the webpage in order to start the data extraction process. The procedure of downloading a web page is referred to as fetching. Every time a user accesses a web page, the browser performs this action. The content of the web page is then parsed (i.e., its syntax is examined), reformatted, or searched, and the data that is retrieved is subsequently loaded into a database or put into a spreadsheet.


What is Web Scraping Used For?

Numerous businesses, including insurance, banking, finance, trade, eCommerce, sports, and digital marketing, use data scraping in various ways. Additionally, data is employed to make decisions, generate leads and sales, control risks, direct plans, and develop new goods and services.


Price Intelligence

Monitoring a competitor's prices and adapting to their price adjustments is known as price intelligence. Retailers employ pricing information to stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Web scraping, where eCommerce vendors gather product and pricing data from other eCommerce websites to assist their pricing and marketing decisions, is a key component of effective price intelligence.

Due to the user data it provides for applications like revenue optimization, product trend tracking, dynamic pricing, competition monitoring, and other uses, price intelligence continues to be one of the most popular use cases for web scraping.


Market Research

Extraction of web data is essential for doing market research. The resultant information is used by market researchers to inform their research in various areas of study, including competitor analysis, pricing analysis, research and development, and market trend analysis.


Creating leads

Effective sales and marketing campaigns must be launched by businesses that wish to expand their consumer base and increase sales. Companies may use web scraping to collect the right contact details from their target market, such as names, job titles, email addresses, and telephone numbers. They may then get in touch with these people to increase their business's leads and sales.


Brand Monitoring

More companies are using social listening and monitoring technologies to determine how their brands are perceived by the general public. You may harvest real-time data from multiple sources using web scraping tools. To determine the perception of a brand, you may next examine the combined data.


Business Automation

You might occasionally need to gather a lot of data from a collection of websites. You must complete this swiftly, methodically, and consistently. These data sets may be automatically extracted using web scraping technologies.


Real Estate

To create the most current and accurate real estate listings, you require online data extraction. The most recent information on homes, selling prices, monthly rental revenue, amenities, real estate agents, and other data points may often be found by using web scraping.

Estimates of rental yield, evaluations of property values, and analyses of real estate market trends all benefit from web-scraped data.


Alternative Financial Data

Investors are using web-scraped data more and more to guide their trades and tactics. Examples of use cases include gleaning insights from SEC filings, keeping tabs on news and stock market index, integrating public sentiment, and gleaning stock market information from Yahoo Finance.


News and Content Marketing

Web scraping technologies are frequently purchased by companies, political campaigns, and charitable organisations that need to monitor brand sentiment, surveys, and other trends closely. Web scraping technologies are frequently used by content and digital marketing organisations to track, compile, and analyse the most important news from various sectors.