Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing a Web Scraping Tool

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    As much there is a lot of data on the internet, most of it is unstructured and you will be required to have systems in place to make meaning out of it. If you’re looking for data, you will be required to extract, analyze and put it in a format that makes sense. This could be a resource-intensive endeavor and you should have all the necessary resources before you start scraping data. Not all tools are created the same. There are some that are more robust and have additional functionalities that will help with data management. There are a couple of considerations you should have in mind when searching for a web scraping tool and we’re going to highlight some of them here.

    Scalability

    The tool that you’re choosing should be future-proof and scalable. Your scraping needs are not going to remain the same as the demand for data increases. The data crawler shouldn’t slow down when the data demands increase.

    Transparent Pricing Structure

    The pricing structure should be transparent. You don’t want to be hit with limitations and only to find out that you have to pay more to use some features yet the details were not made clear in the pricing structure. There are providers that will formulate complex pricing models and it will be hard to know what exactly you’re getting. A provider like Zenscrape has a clear model and you know what you will be getting with what is being offered.

    Dealing With Changing Websites

    The websites that you intend to crawl might have undergone some changes. This means that there are some adjustments that will need to be made from the crawler’s end for the process to be effective. There are constant changes in the web development space and a crawler could be completely obsolete. A good provider will ensure that the tool is constantly being updated to address the changes in the industry. It doesn’t matter if the changes are cosmetic or structural, the important thing is that the tool is able to crawl the website and fetch the required data.

    Handling Anti-scraping Mechanisms

    There are website owners that are tech-savvy and will put anti-scraping measures in place. Most of these measures can be bypassed with simple modifications of the crawler. A crawler that is not able to bypass most of the websites will not really be useful to your purpose. Make sure you’re looking for a crawler that is able to handle the major roadblocks.

    Data Delivery

    There are some specific formats that you’d want your data delivered in. If you want it delivered in JSON format, it is imperative that you’re looking for a crawler that delivers in JSON format. The best option would be to look for a crawler that can deliver data in different formats. There are occasions where you’d want the data to be delivered in a format that you’re not used to. Having versatility ensures that you’re always covered when it comes to the delivery.

    Customer Support

    This is an important consideration when choosing a crawler. You might be experiencing problems with the tool and need assistance. There is nothing as frustrating as having to wait a day or two before you can get answers to your queries. It is also possible that the answers you receive might not be satisfactory. A good provider should be able to provide real-time support for the tool. This gives you the confidence that the provider genuinely cares about the customers. You can test the customer support by reaching out to the provider before making the purchase. Take note of how long it took to respond and if your questions or concerns were satisfactorily answered.

    The Quality of Data

    There will be parameters that you input when scraping data. Most of the data on the web is unstructured and is not usable in its raw state. The web scraping provider should be able to provide tools that help with the cleaning and organizing of data that is crawled. The final product will entirely depend on the web scraping company that you choose. Make sure to look for a provider that also takes care of the cleaning and organizing of data.

    To sum it up, big data has become crucial for businesses that want to gain insights into their industries. You need a crawler that is not only good and scraping but also cleaning of the data. There is a demand for web scraping tools because businesses understand that data is everything. Choose a provider that cares about delivering quality.

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    • Tom La Vecchia

      Founder of New Theory & X Factor Media

      Founder and Publisher of New Theory Magazine and Podcast. Serial Entrepreneur who loves wine, cigars and anything that allows to people to connect and share experiences.

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