The place of data in a business lifecycle is seen to be continually on the increase, with over 60% of modern businesses around the world found to be using data and its analysis to drive growth as of 2020.
This figure has continued to increase for many reasons. Small and large companies are finding different ways to apply data to provide better customer services or make better decisions.
Those familiar with data extraction often refer to all the processes involved as web scraping. But web scraping is a broad subject with many underlying methods and processes.
People often refer to web scraping as data mining, but both processes differ. In this article, we will learn how and also highlight the many important areas in which businesses need data and why it is necessary to learn how to extract data from a website.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the general process used to collect data from multiple websites.
It is an automated process involving highly sophisticated and effective tools to interact with multiple hyperlinks and URLs at once and extract their content simultaneously.
It entails using tools such as crawlers, proxies, web scrapers, and data parsers and involves everything from when the URLs are first extracted to when the data is stored in the available storage unit.
The best way to understand it is to think of web scraping as an all-encompassing process that starts with helping you know the target server and only concludes after the extracted content has been saved.
What Is Data Mining?
Data mining, on the other hand, is the process of analyzing different datasets to uncover patterns, create insights, and develop intelligence.
The process generally comes after web scraping and involves using highly-specialized tools to investigate extensive datasets and build useful knowledge at the end.
For this reason, it requires fewer tools and lesser effort. But it needs to be specialized to ensure fewer mistakes and better results.
A data mining process may involve the analysis of product prices collected from a large e-Commerce website. And the end goal could be to understand different prices and optimize prices for the brand’s products.
Consequently, we can see that while every business needs web scraping to obtain data, they do not always need data mining, especially if understanding trends and developing insights are not among a business’s core needs.
The General Importance of Data in Modern Businesses Practices
There are several ways that data can benefit a modern business, and below are some of the most common:
- To Get A Better Understanding of Market Factors
Every market is controlled by factors such as demand and supply. And businesses need always to understand what these factors are and how they are influencing the market at each turn.
Data collected regularly from the market allows a brand to fully understand these parameters and how they affect the market at each point.
- Providing Better Customer Services
Another powerful market that businesses also need to consider is consumer sentiments or behavior.
The way buyers behave at each point can determine how well certain products or services sell.
Understanding consumer behavior is key to finding out their pain points and manufacturing products that closely align with the needs.
This helps the company provide more customer satisfaction which, in turn, leads to more sales and increased revenue.
Most failing businesses make and sell products without considering this or trying to satisfy their customers.
- Improving Business Efficiency
An efficient business is simply one that makes fewer mistakes and more revenue. Such companies put in lesser efforts and pull off better results.
To attain this efficiency level, businesses need to make decisions based on high-quality market data.
Data helps a company make the most results compared to its rivals. For instance, when a business regularly collects market data, they can understand what the market is saying and manufacture products that get accepted in different markets at first attempt without needing repeated callbacks and adjustments.
Also, companies can sell at prices that increase their revenue without pushing their customers away by simply following data.
- Protecting and Monitoring the Brand
Another great application of data is monitoring and protecting a brand’s reputation on the internet.
Because of how common it has become for customers to leave negative comments on different platforms that can stain a company’s reputation online and ruin them in the eyes of potential buyers, brands have to rely on data to iron things out regularly.
For instance, when a business continually collects data such as reviews, comments, and feedback from forums and discussion platforms, it becomes easier to determine when something negative has been said. The brand can then move to attend to it immediately and forestall any damages.
To get a more detailed outlook on how to extract data from a website, visit this page.
Web scraping and data mining might sound like the same process and maybe be closely related, but they are largely two separate entities and processes.
And all modern businesses need to learn how to extract data from a website because data offers several advantages and benefits, including helping protect the brand’s reputation and improving growth and performance.