What Is Web Automated Scraping and Data Monitoring?
Automated web scraping is the software that is set for regular data fetching from target web sources and web pages. This software goes to websites on a schedule and checks for needed information. Another kind of automated scraping is a custom-built web crawling system that goes through the internet and finds and scrapes all web pages that fit its settings.
Our web monitoring solution is an automatic web data extraction software that checks a web source (or web sources) on a regular basis and reports any changes on the target web page or pages. It automatically informs us or the client about any changes on a web page or take specific actions like scraping changed items or doing other programmed actions.
Automatically crawling web sources for changes
At DataOx, automatic web crawling is a quite popular service for our clients. For instance, if you want to monitor your competitors prices and set your prices accordingly, in that case, you need an automated data monitoring solution that will check your competitors’ prices every ten minutes and inform you or just change your prices, depending on your requirements.
Incremental web data gathering
Incremental scraping means that you can automatically parse 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 whole website each time—you need just the fresh listings or job posts.
The automated data monitoring system works the same way—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 know updated news or other information on a website, you can set RSS if the web source allows it. However, RSS often doesn’t provide all the data businesses need for big projects.
What you should pay attention to?
An important part of automated monitoring systems is constant maintenance, as scraped websites quite often change their design and HTML code, which can cause failures in the data feed and collection. The core of maintenance is data quality assurance—the process of testing scraped content for quality each time as the system downloads it from the target websites. At DataOx, we provide maintenance with the help of special software and manual data checking.