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Best Tools & Tricks to Automate Web  Scraping

Best Tools & Tricks to Automate Web Scraping

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Updated: May 11, 2022

Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or just dipping your toes in a new startup, insights are what will take you to the next level. But for insights, you need data. A lot of data!

Data is so important that most companies spend between 30 to 70% of their budget on data collection and analytics.

The reason for this is apparent: data can help you make much more informed decisions, making you stay ahead of your competitors. That’s not all! You will even save a lot of time by avoiding repetitive tasks and improving the efficiency of your robots (yes, robots)! But how do you make sense of all this data? And more importantly, how do you extract insights and make decisions?

If your business is like most others, you probably have a team of data scientists who deal with this very issue. Unfortunately, this means that the team members spend so much time in the lab analyzing data that they often miss decisions to take and those to avoid. That is where web scraping comes in.

What is Web Scraping?

Web scraping is the advanced practice of extracting information from a website or web application  using a high-level programming language. It lets you extract and process data on the fly from almost  any website, using standard browsers and simple scripting.

It’s used to extract data that would otherwise be out of reach, whether it’s for testing purposes or  because the organization doesn’t have the resources in-house to deal with the website. The process  involves setting up a programming environment and using an automated system to crawl, extract  and process information from a website.

By utilizing web scraping, you can gather information about your client base, build your business  and take a firm step towards matching your competitors. But let’s face it: data is trendy these days.

List of Sites Frequently Web Scraped  

Numerous websites get scraped frequently. These may include eCommerce websites, directories  sites, and social media.

Amazon ranks #1 on the list of most frequently scraped websites. eBay and Walmart follow next. As  eCommerce sites are increasing day by day, these are the sites that people scrape for unlimited data. Some more frequently web scraped websites are Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, Indeed, and  Twitter.

Sites You Should Avoid When Web Scraping  

Not all websites allow web scraping, so it’s a good idea to be wary of them. Many websites take  measures to restrict and minimize web scraping, making it difficult to extract data from those sites.

Although it’s possible to scrape any site, websites taking extreme measures to protect the data are  hard to scrape. One such example is LinkedIn.

Benefits of Web Scraping

Benefits-of-Web-Scraping

Web scraping has many beneficial aspects, which is why it is gaining popularity day by day. Some of  its benefits are:

  • Platform independent: Most web scraping tools are platform-independent. So, you can use any  tool for any platform, no matter what operating system you’re using or what browser you’re using.
  • Data portability: Web crawling tools can save your data in a compatible format with any software  tooling required to process the data. The amount of relevant data extracted from the web with an  automated web scraping tool is limitless.
  • Automation: Before web scraping tools, extracting data was a time-consuming and tedious task.  But, data scrapers have made the extraction of significant amounts of data possible and in no time.
  • Cost-effective: Web scrapers do not need large budgets and help you extract data at an affordable  price.
  • Speed: Reliable web scrapers can extract data at an incredible pace that would not have been  possible with manual extracting.

Best Tools for Web Scraping  

Some of the best tools for Web Scraping are:  

1.Jupyter  ->The Jupyter notebook is a free web tool that lets you create and share documents with live code,  equations, visualizations, and narrative text. Data cleaning and transformation, numerical  simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and many other applications  are possible.

2.Puppeteer ->Most things you would typically have to do manually in the Chrome browser can be done using  Puppeteer. It may include creating screenshots and PDFs of pages, creating pre-rendered content  by automating form submissions, or crawling single-page applications.

3.Selenium ->Selenium is a reliable tool for automating web browsers. It aids in automating operations such as  filling out forms, clicking buttons, and searching for specific information on web pages. Selenium is  used for web scraping in Python since it can access JavaScript rendered material.

4.Beautiful Soup -> Beautiful Soup is a Python package for HTML and XML document analysis. It generates a parse tree  that tells you what sort of HTML element was encountered, if an attribute was applied to the root  node, and whether or not there were several paragraphs within a single part.

5.Scrapy ->Scrapy is a Python online scraping framework that allows developers to create scalable web  crawlers. It’s a full-featured web crawling framework that takes care of all the plumbing (queuing  requests, proxy middleware, and so on) that makes creating web crawlers challenging.

The crawlers’ deployment with this tool is reliable and straightforward, and once they’re set up, the  processes can run on their own. Several middleware modules are available as a fully-fledged web  scraping framework to integrate multiple technologies and handle diverse use cases (taking  cookies, user agents, etc.).

Wrapping Up  

Cleaning and building databases can impact your sales. That is where you should integrate reliable web scraper tools into your organization. We hope that this post has helped you gain more precise insights into web scraping and how you can use it to scale your business.

However, if you still need any help with web scraping tools, you can try BitCot. It offers a web  scraping tool that automates and speeds up the web extraction process. They have a set of tools to  unique needs and requirements that enable you to scrape data with zero coding efforts.

What’s more? If you think BitCot doesn’t have a tool for your requirements, get in touch with our  executives. Our skilled and dedicated coding professionals can create a new app or tool for you in no time.

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    Raj Sanghvi BitCot CEO

    Author: Raj Sanghvi

    Raj Sanghvi is a technologist and founder of BitCot, a full-service award-winning software development company. With over 15 years of innovative coding experience creating complex technology solutions for businesses like IBM, Sony, Nissan, Micron, Dicks Sporting Goods, HDSupply, Bombardier and more, Sanghvi helps build for both major brands and entrepreneurs to launch their own technologies platforms.

    Visit Raj Sanghvi on LinkedIn and follow him on TwitterView Full Bio

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