In this era of cut-throat competition, data is the new oil. From large MNCs to small local companies, accurate data of buying behaviour, competitor’s products, trends in the market and so on helps businesses to make strategic decisions. This data comes from various sources- social media websites, e-commerce platforms, smart devices and other websites where customers interact with businesses.
This data isn’t readily available online; it has to be collected through a process called web crawling or web scraping.The data that you get with web scraping may or may not be in a way that helps you make the right decisions. It is generally jumbled and unstructured. Generally, there are two ways to acquire business intelligence data.
Data Extraction Tools (D-I-Y)
A Data Extraction Tool can be a browser extension, plug-in or independent software where you can enter your details and get the data you want from select websites.
Charged on a per-extraction, trial or subscription basis, you do not require to have any coding experience to use these tools. They crunch the data automatically and give it to you in a preset format. However, data extraction tools may not be suitable to acquire big data.
Data Extraction Services (Customized services)
Here, you basically hire data scrapers who get to the depths of their knowledge and scrape data from whichever website you want. These professionals help you get structured and meaningful data in a way that is useful to you for making informed business decisions. These services are also called DaaS or Data-as-a-Service.
If you need to take an informed business decision for investments that could range up to millions and billions of Dollars, you need the right data that can help you make more efficient and cost-saving decisions. Some people say Data Extraction tools are all that you need.
However, this cannot be the truth. Here are some reasons why data extraction services should be chosen over data extraction tools.
Data Extraction services are money and resource-efficient
If you choose to Do-It-Yourself using a data extraction tool, you only get raw and unstructured data, especially if the data volume is on the higher side. Then, you will need professionals to make sense of this data. This includes statisticians, data analysts, data scientists and so on. You will need to hire them on a contract basis, but gathering and making sense of meaningful data for informed business decisions is a cyclical process. This means that you may have to spend much more than anticipated if you D-I-Y.
On the other hand, using the services of a Data Extraction firm is much more money and resource-efficient as you pay for what you expect while taking into consideration. Being a customized solution to your data research, you can be sure that they will do a much better job than using contractual staff or allocating resources from within.
D-I-Y data extraction tools get outdated quite often
Websites from where data is to be extracted quite often change their patterns and technologies. DIY data extraction tools may not be always updated to reflect these changes. That can also mean you have outdated or irrelevant data scraped through these tools.
With customized solutions, data scraping services provide you with better data sets relevant to your business. Generic data scraping tools get you a fixed set of data that may or may not be relevant to your niche. Flexibility in data sets also means you get to know more about your customers and other vendors through structured data.
Generic data scraping tools may not give you relevant and accurate data as per your need. You could get the data you wanted from the correct website, but the data may be outdated or irrelevant as these data scraping tools have set algorithms that give only a fixed set of results. They may or may not be up to date for the latest versions of the target websites.
Professional customized data extraction services can get you better results than DIY data extraction services as they use professional coders, analysts and scientists to get the work done. D-I-Y can take more time, especially if you have large data sets.
Cleaning up data
The unstructured data that is collected can be huge. If you were to D-I-Y, it would take up a lot of time and energy to clean up the data and select the data that may be useful for your business. Not to mention a large amount of space it will consume on your servers. Customized data scrapers, on the other hand, save you time, money and memory as they send you data that matters to you and nothing else.
The bottom line
If you want relevant and accurate data to make meaningful business decisions, there is no doubt it is better to hand over the job to a professional data extraction company. SmartScapers is an end-to-end service provider for data extractions services.Doing-It-Yourself can take up more resources than expected and may not be feasible for the long run or large data sets. You cannot afford to make a decision based on irrelevant or inaccurate data, can you?