What is web scraping?

It is probably quite new for many people. However, we can understand Web Scraping is a technique we can use to extract large amounts of data from websites. Hence, it is possible for us to format the extracted data storage of a local file on our computer. Web scraping is actually a process of automating the extraction of data in an efficient and fast way. We can get data from any website and store it in memory of our computer, no matter how large is the data and whether that website offers format options or not.

When considering different sources of data, we generally think about structured or semi-structured data presented to us in SQL, Web-services. However, there is a huge volume of data belonging to the others, residing on many websites, not freely available to do parsable format. Normally, the mashed up and mixed data in a blend of CSS and HTML is the main reasons preventing us from collecting information on websites. Therefore, web scraping is to get access to hidden information, take it out of the websites. We particularly format it in the way we want as well by code automation we created.

The importance of scraping website

Almost all of the companies practically need information about others’ prices and product but they have to face up with a lot of difficulties in getting that data. Our job is supplying them with that data. For example, our partners are searching for the most suitable estate company. In this case, we can offer them the price, quality or anything else we got from estate comparison websites. We make a profit by getting a small referral fee for driving a customer to a particular website.

However, this work may run into trouble. Websites are built in a myriad of different ways, some are very simple, others are complex dynamic beasts. Some important data on the website is hidden, so we have to try a lot of ways to assemble it by writing code, applying new tools such as Mozenda tool, …etc. Web scraping, like other things, is a part of the skills we need to improve and it is certainly worth developers’ investing. Some scraping projects. I have been involved in some projects which were very tricky indeed. Because the programmers have to solve almost every problem including both the basics and advances. Anyway, we know that our works bring many benefits which are reasons why we need to scrape data. So how many benefits will we gain when scraping data? Let’s stay tuned, I will share with you in the next track.

Mai Nguyen

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