5 Little Known Uses for Web Scraping
The World Wide Web, though portrayed as murky and torrid, holds an invaluable treasure for any business savvy in web scraping. The enormous amounts of data automatically extracted using tools like oxylabs Real-Time Crawler or like spiders or scraping robots, also called bots, can be used for fantastic outcomes.
Businesses need intelligence to stay relevant in the industry and to practice fair competition. Scraping also improves the management of in-house affairs by automating processes that need data collection and manipulation.
The web scraping process
Web scrapers are simple and automated software that help to compile valuable business data. The scraping process begins with the web scraper gathering URLs to load.
Depending on the commands you input, the scraper can extract all the data on a webpage or specific data from the page. You configure the commands before running the program.
After collecting the data, the scraper will download the extracted data and store it in a format that you can understand. The common formats of storing that data include Excel spreadsheets and CSV. You can explore the more advanced ones like JSON if your business has invested in a top-notch scraper.
Unique ways to use web scraping
Businesses engage in web scraping for usual entrepreneurial and management strategies. However, your company can use web scraping ingeniously to gather intelligence to scale on its operations in these unusual ways:
1. Monitoring Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) compliance
If your company produces goods or services that retailers sell, you would be interested in ensuring your affiliates and merchandizers comply with your pricing guidelines. Since it would be inefficient and tedious to gather such data manually, web scraping will scrap such data for you. Furthermore, you can set your scraper to update you on any changes in pricing in real-time.
2. Risk management for businesses
When you bring in new people into your company as employees or as clients, you expose your company to some risks. To mitigate such risks, you can use web scraping appliances to perform background checks on such individuals.
Web scraping will save your company the time it would need for a traditional background check. Such a check would involve scouring news and press articles, corporate registers, insolvency registers, disqualified directors’ lists, and many more.
Your human resource department will appreciate that it would be tedious and time-wasting to collect that information manually from websites. Investing in web scraping will avail the data from those sources and process it quickly.
If you run a recruitment company, a scraper will help you crawl many websites and extract data regarding new job posts. You can use this to create a job board complete with company profiles, employee profiles, job postings, and job descriptions.
Web scraping will assist you to connect employers and job seekers, and maybe earn some decent returns for your effort. You can use web scrapers to monitor the reputation of your agency and enhance its performance.
3. Reputation and brand monitoring
One way of monitoring the progress and projected growth of your company lies in understanding how customers feel about your company and your brand. To achieve that, your company should use spiders that have the sophistication to extract reviews and other inputs from your customers.
With such data, your marketing team gathers insights on your company’s brand and reputation from your clients’ sentiments. Using that, you can engage in strategies to serve your clients better.
4. Academic and journalism research
If your business has an academic inclination, it depends on up to date references. It could be that you provide teaching support, or you offer research services for academic projects. Scraping makes it easy to gather relevant and adequate information.
It also compiles and analyzes the data into usable formats for your staff and clients. Such data in the form of infographics gives credibility to news stories and journals. The insights support claims and arguments and enable your readers to grasp complex topics. With time, scraping turns your company into an authority in your field.
5. Lead generation
Traditional marketing campaigns involving sending out sale emails and cold calling do not bear much. Prospects ignore such emails and blacklist the source for spam. Use scraping to establish B2B relationships by scraping information on specific individuals in your target company to email.
Scraping will also alert you about related companies setting up new plants or new branches where you can move with haste to offer your services. Other leads that can help your business to strategize include knowing if the company is a market leader or start-up, and its revenue.
Invest in web scraping to explore new horizons for your business.