As the scope of data continuously grows and gains momentum day by day, modern businesses face a number of challenges. They need to monitor variable business information and data from the web in order to realize their operational processes and performance monitoring.
Business runs on data; but this data is often spread across unstructured online sources, and extracting it is time- and labor-consuming. Automated data scraping can retrieve the necessary data even from the sources that have no structure. This can be used to upload files and fill in the forms if required.
An automated web scraper is applicable for dealing with
- Web browsers
- PDF documents
- Excel and CSV files
- Microsoft Exchange
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
A web data extraction, transformation, and transportation automation tool relieves you of the necessity of manual scraping or script creation.
What is more, a complex scraping system with advanced processing and filtering algorithms may automatically integrate the extracted data with your IT infrastructure, bridging the gap between unstructured information and business mobile or web applications.
Let’s look into the process in more detail.
Automated web scraping is the process of regular data fetching from target web sources and web pages, using specialized software that is designed for the purpose. This software visits websites on a schedule and checks them for needed information. Another kind of automated scraping solution is a custom-built web crawling system that explores the internet and scrapes all web pages that fit its search criteria.
Our web monitoring solution is an automatic web data extraction software with an intuitive user interface that checks a web source (or sources) on a regular basis, and reports any changes to the target web pages. It automatically informs the users about any changes on a web page, or takes specific actions like scraping changed items or doing other programmed actions.
Automatically crawling web sources for changes
At DataOx, automatic web crawling is a very popular service for our clients. For instance, if you want to monitor your competitors’ prices and then set your prices accordingly, you need an automated website monitoring solution that will check your competitors’ prices on their sites every ten minutes, then inform you or just change your prices, depending on your requirements.
Incremental web data gathering
Incremental scraping means that you can automatically retrieve the most recently added items from a particular web page.
Want to monitor real estate listings or job boards? Then this is the service for you! You don’t want to scrape the entire website each time — you need just the fresh listings or job posts.
The automated data monitoring system works the same way, by checking the website on a regular basis, and downloads just the added items.
A good example of incremental data extraction is RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology. If you want to find updated news or other information on a website, you can use RSS if the web source allows it. However, RSS often doesn’t provide all the data businesses need for extensive projects.