Quick Overview of the Best Data Scraping Tools in 2020 — a Devil’s Dozen Everyone Should Know
Find a quick overview of off-the-shelf scraping tools. Check a dozen of the most popular data scrapers, their features, and peculiarities. Get DataOx consultation!
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Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Off-the-Shelf Web Scraping Tools
For those who have not worked with automated data harvesting, the term web scraping may seem like a buzzword, but it’s not a big deal if you have the right tool. Today we will speak about:
- Scraping Bot
- Content Grabber
- Data Miner
- Web Scraper
|Data Scraping ToolType||Type||Best For|
|Octoparse||Hosted/Cloud (Windows only)||e-Commerce, Research, Marketing|
|ParseHub||Desktop Client/Web App||Startups, Developers, Data Analysts|
|Import.io||Cloud||Finance, Retail, Research|
|Scraping Bot||Cloud||Retail, Campsites, Real estate|
|Dexi||Wed App||Small Business (simple tasks)|
|Diffbot||Cloud||Tech and Development Companies|
|Content Grabber||Desctop/Cloud||Developers, Business|
|ProWebScraper||Cloud||e-Commerce, Finance, Hospitality, Media, Manufacturing|
|FMiner||Desktop App||Business, Data Analysts|
|WebHarvy||Desktop App||Research, SEO, Marketing|
|Data Miner||Browser Extension (Google Chome and Microsoft Edge)||Small Business, Retail|
|Web Scraper||Browser Extension (Google Chome and Microsoft Edge)||e-Commerce, Research, Marketing|
Octoparse’s service offers a hosted solution for the users to run scraping in the cloud and fully customized tools for businesses that provide clean and structured data according to the client’s request. Unfortunately, it only runs on Windows. Octoparse is perfect for e-commerce, scientific and academic research, and marketing.
ParseHub is an easy-to-use yet powerful and flexible tool for complicated data extraction, powered by machine learning technology for relevant data output. ParseHub screens a web page, figures out the hierarchy of elements, and harvests data with ease. It can export the information scraped in JSON, Excel, and CSV formats. It’s also possible to create an application programming interface (API).
Import.io is a data-scraping platform for enterprises. It offers data retrieval in real time and on schedule with no coding required. This easy-to-use product is perfect for “change reports” and comparison purposes.
Import.io can download files and images, extract links, automate workflows and web interaction, and store data in the cloud. The scraper can first extract information, then convert it into a structured format, export to CSV, and even create visuals for better user insights. Through APIs and webhooks, the tool allows data integration into third-party apps. Although their enterprise solution can be a pricey tool, Import.io has a free community edition offered as a self-serve solution. Import.io is applicable for investment investigation, retail price monitoring, data-driven marketing, risk management, machine learning, academic research, data journalism, and more.
Mozenda has served enterprises for more than a decade and claims to work with a third of the Fortune 500 companies.
The service offers its clients a robust, highly adaptive platform for large data projects and on-premises web scraping software for all kinds of data grabbing needs such as market research, price comparison, and competitor monitoring. The tool has a convenient point-and-click UI. It allows the creation of data scraping agents in a wink. A user can then control the agents through API. Mozenda scraping tools use both data harvesting and data wrangling and can scrape text content, files, images, and even PDF information. They export data directly to XML, TSV, CSV, XLSX, or JSON through API, and then structure, organize, and publish the scraped and processed information. Mozenda can be integrated into any platform, which makes it a universal product for large projects. These scraping tools suit e-commerce and financial purposes best, facilitating research, marketing, and sales.
Scraping Bot is a simple yet efficient tool that facilitates full HTML retrieval of a web page. This data scraper provides APIs to match the clients’ needs. It offers a generic API for raw HTML extraction, API for retail sites and for real estate businesses, and the PrestaShop module to enhance online shops’ efficiency with scraped data from competitors.
The Scraping Bot API locates the necessary information and pulls it from the HTML of the web page. After retrieving all the necessary details, the scraper extracts and parses the data in JSON, structures it, and makes it ready to use. The scraped data is possible to personalize and visualize in reports provided by Scraping Bot, and a user can also schedule the delivery of the reports at a regular frequency. The headless browser and premium proxies are advanced options that allow effective data harvesting even on tough-to-scrape websites. A free monthly plan is available for testing the tool, and then a user can either choose the pricing option he or she needs or order a custom plan or even a custom tool for his or her specific needs. Currently, the Scraping Bot works best for retail, campsites, and real estate sectors, but the vendor claims new products are on the way.
Dexi is a data scraping app that doesn’t require any download. This browser-based tool allows crawling and fetching information in real time and either exporting it as CVS or JSON files or saving it to Google Drive or Box.net right away. Dexi’s scraping tool allows information extraction from any site as well as anonymous data crawling through proxy servers. The app uses third-party software integrations to solve the challenges of data acquisition. It helps, for instance, solve captcha with ease.
The significant advantage of the Dexi app platform is its endless possibilities for data integration. A user can connect the scraped data to any environment. This visual web scraping platform has built-in data flows and features for data transforming, combining, and manipulating. Though the tool is easily scalable through multiple integration possibilities, it is not very flexible. The tool works best for those who need quick data scraping and transformation without coding.
Diffbot is special because rather than mimicking human behavior in the process of searching for the necessary information on a web page, it operates like a machine. This feature is vital for long data scraping projects because the changes of HTML on the target site do not influence the scraping and its results. The tool uses AI to recognize the relevant pages and data along with an automatic extraction API to pull the matching information out. However, the tool fails on some websites.
The scraper’s multiple structured APIs return clean and organized data to the user. The tool works well for tech and development companies needing to scrape sites with often-changing HTML. A free trial is available.
The Content Grabber scraping tool offers its clients two solutions — one for managed data services and one for enterprises. A client can choose a product suitable for business, finance, e-commerce, or government.
The tool integrates into a desktop application through an API or runs in production environments on a server. It easily integrates with analytic solutions and reporting applications. This scraper allows UI customization and task scheduling, offers scripting capabilities and error handling, and guarantees full legal compliance. Content Grabber fetches content from complex sites and multi-structured sources without problems. It then saves it in any format—CSV, Excel, or XML. This cloud-based scraping tool guarantees perfect usability, reliability, scalability, and flexibility to its users dealing with large-scale tasks. Being the leader among enterprise data grabbing software, it’s expensive, however, the fee is a one-time payment. Content Grabber is best for companies that want to develop scraping tools themselves or rely on consistent and structured web data in their operation.
ProWebScraper is a new cloud-based visual tool for scraping the web with a user-friendly interface and numerous useful features.
FMiner is a visual design tool that allows a user to start a data extraction project without coding in a matter of minutes. FMiner crawls dynamic websites, copes with multilevel nested extractions, captcha, and forms to fill in, click, or check. The tool can input data to the controls from a table. So the data in tables can be changed for particular pages without changing the entire project.
The FMiner scraper saves the pulled data to popular formats and databases. The tool supports a task scheduler and can email reports upon execution to show the results. FMiner requires a one-time payment per user and offers a free trial. This web scraping tool is good for businesses that need regular web data monitoring, reporting, analysis, and visualization.
WebHarvy is a data-scraping tool for fast and simple tasks. It doesn’t require the user to have any programming or scripting knowledge.
WebHarvy is a desktop application not suitable for large-scale data extracting tasks. The tool scrapes sites locally, and the number of CPU cores on a local machine limits its possibilities. The user can define the data extraction rules due to WebHarvy’s visual scraping feature and select the data he or she needs; however, this scraper does not support captcha solving. It’s also difficult to implement complex logic with WebHarvy compared to, for instance, ParseHub or Octoparse. WebHarvy pulls information from websites to local computers and exports it as Excel, CSV, JSON, XML, or TSV files or SQL databases. This web scraping tool is an affordable option with a one-time payment for SEO writers, researchers, marketing specialists, and e-commerce professionals.
Data Miner is a browser extension for Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It extracts data and saves it into clear tables in CSV or Excel.
The tool can parse multiple pages simultaneously, extract data from dynamic sites, and save it to a CSV file. Gathered data is stored in the cloud and can be easily reached through an API, webhooks, or Dropbox. This scraping tool lacks built-in automation features; however, it has a simple interface and a user can easily set up a plan to navigate the target site according to its structure. The user can also specify the type of data to extract. Since it’s a free data scraping tool, anyone can use it, but for more serious tasks, a user can choose one of four extra pricing plans.
Almost any sphere of modern business is nowadays dependent on timely and consistent data analysis. The modern web scraping tools offered in the market are variable and everyone can find a solution to match his or her capabilities, needs, and budget. Whether you are an inexperienced user just beginning to consider web scraping or an experienced developer looking for better solutions to solve your large data project’s tasks, we hope this article will help you take your next step. Off-the-shelf solutions may be the right choice if your data extracting requirements are limited and scraping tasks simple. If your business relies on data consistently, then what you really need is a dedicated service or a custom tool crafted for your specific demands. DataOx experts can help you figure out what you really need right now. Schedule a free consultation and let us help you decide.
Publishing date: Sun Apr 23 2023
Last update date: Wed Apr 19 2023