HomeTECHNOLOGYWhat Is Scraping Technique And How It Is Used

What Is Scraping Technique And How It Is Used

In modern times, many companies have introduced the latest technologies, such as AI, and data utilization efficiency has determined the company’s future. One way to collect data is scraping.

Just from the name, you can’t tell what kind of technology scraping refers explicitly to and what benefits it has. 

In this article, we will introduce the basic knowledge of scraping, specific usage situations, and things to be aware of when introducing scraping in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners.

Basic Knowledge Of Scraping

What Is Scraping?

Scraping means “collecting the data and processing the data for a purpose.” Collected data refers to images and information on the web. There is a similar word, “crawling,” but this means collecting data, not extracting and processing it. 

If scraping can be automated, data utilization efficiency will be significantly improved.

Scraping includes data scraping and web scraping. They’re just different types of data, but at their core, they extract information from websites and apps and store it in local files or the cloud.

The collected data can extract article names, dates, tags, URLs, number of comments, etc., according to the purpose. So what are some ways to do scraping yourself?

How To Do Scraping

There are two ways to perform scraping. One is to use scraping tools sold/provided in the market.

Another option is to make your tools. This method takes time and effort, but if you have staff who have already learned to program, you can develop it according to your company’s purpose. 

The cost of operation and maintenance is cheaper than purchasing a ready-made product.Also, even programming beginners can scrape with languages ​​such as Python.

Usage Scene Of Scraping

If you use scraping, the program will complete all the work, such as data collection, repetitive input, copy-paste, etc., that you have done manually so far, so you can significantly improve your work efficiency. 

It can be used in a wide range of ways, such as marketing, as it also plays a role in actively increasing profits. Below are some examples of how scraping can be used.

  • Optimization Of Pricing Strategy

By utilizing web scraping and collecting the prices of specific products from platforms such as online shops, it is possible to adjust and optimize the prices of newly planned products.

  • Market Assessment And Decision Making

When entering a new market, collecting information can be used as a basis for deciding to enter the market.

It is essential to collect objective data because it is necessary to persuade many people inside and outside the company when making decisions.

  • Social Media Tracking And Listening

“Social listening,” which refers to the tracking of articles posted on social media and the analysis of conversations and interactions that take place within them, tracks mentions and conversations related to a brand on social media and analyzes them to generate insights and opportunities for action.

It will help you collect responses from existing and prospective customers and form feedback.

  • Providing Data For Machine Learning

Extracting large amounts of data with web scraping facilitates more advanced and accurate machine learning.

  • Website Export

By using a web scraper, you can quickly migrate your data to a safer environment than before. In particular, large-scale sites such as those operated by government agencies are using these tools to migrate to new platforms.

  • News Monitoring

News Monitoring and analysis is a highly influential field in the modern information society. In corporate activities, it is essential to sort through the ever-increasing amount of information and accurately grasp political and economic trends.

  • Data Analysis Of Content

Using a web scraper to collect and analyze content data, you can output easy-to-handle data about posted articles, images, videos, tweets, etc.

It allows you to sort lists, insert them into databases, and convert them to graphs. It can be operated in a more visually understandable form than processing raw data.

ALSO READ: Why Edge Computing Matters?

Main Flow Of Scraping

So far, we have introduced what scraping is and the benefits it brings. So, what steps should you follow when scraping? Here, we will explain the flow of web scraping one by one.

Select Data To Collect

The first thing to do is to select the target from which data will be collected. It is the same as choosing the best ingredients when making a delicious dish. 

The quality and validity of the data you choose here will significantly affect the results when you use it, so consider carefully comparing it to scrape.

Check The HTML Structure Of The Target Website

Once you’ve decided what you want to use as a data source, open your browser’s developer tools (how you open the developer tools varies depending on the browser you’re using). 

And check the HTML structure of your website. Then select the location with the information you want to scrape and find the tag to specify it.

Write A Program

Once you’ve found what you need from your HTML structure, all you have to do is write the code to collect it. I won’t describe the actual code used in this article, but if you’re scraping a small amount of data, you can find information such as code examples on the internet, so even beginners can easily do it.

Points To Note When Scraping

Scraping is a technology that can be indispensable for raising business efficiency in this information society, but its convenience is not always on the side of business operators. 

If you make a mistake using it, it may even work negatively rather than negate the benefits. It is because the malicious use of scraping can cause trouble between parties and conflict with the law.

Collected Data Is Limited To Analysis

Limit the collected data to analysis and never use the acquired data for anything other than data analysis. Specifically, publishing and selling the collected data as it is or duplicating and distributing it will violate copyright law.

Take Care Not To Overload The Target Site

Scraping is a task that puts a constant load on the server where the target data is stored. If you try to process too much data, you may be guilty of fraudulent obstruction of business. When scraping, remember “only a small amount of necessary data.”

Don’t Do It On Sites Where Scraping Is Prohibited

Even if the management or method of scraped information is not illegal, you should be careful if the terms of use of the target site prohibit scraping. Failure to do so may result in civil lawsuits. Be sure to check this point as well.

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