Written byAsmit JoshionJanuary 17, 2023
The key factors that set a data extraction service apart from its do-it-yourself variant
In the 21st century, data is probably the most valuable business commodity. All of today’s powerful organizations leverage big data for intelligent insights and better decision-making in order to fuel their growth. The web data is collected from a variety of sources — from ecommerce platforms and social media to business transactions and smart devices.
In almost all instances, web data is collected by a process called web scraping or web crawling, which extracts specific data points from websites and saves the data in easy-to-handle, structured formats. If your business relies on analytical insights from the freshest available web data, one major question dominating most of your meetings probably is: “How are we going to acquire the data?“
Available means of extraction
There are currently two methods of extracting web data that are the most popular — DIY tools or software and Data-as-a-service (DaaS) platforms.
Web scraping tools
A DIY scraping tool is either a web browser extension, add-on or plug-in, or a software that you use after installing into your system. The tool is best suited to non-technical individuals for ad-hoc projects with small data requirements.
A scraping tool is a cost-effective option if you need data quickly from simple, well-structured websites. Most tools also offer limited monthly volumes on free or trial plans which are often enough for low-scale scraping jobs. And even when you cross their limits, a subscription plan is usually not that expensive.
Data extraction service
A web data acquisition service is where you outsource and offload your organization’s data requirements to specialists for a fee so that you can focus on more important matters. There are numerous services today that are dedicated to solving the exact pain point.
DaaS platforms, like Grepsr, have all the necessary infrastructure and resources already in place to handle even the most complex of scraping jobs. Once you tell them what your requirements are, you can relax and let them take care of the rest.
Why is a DaaS better for you than a tool?
A professional data extraction service is a more viable and convenient option with lots of benefits for enterprise-level projects where a built-for-all DIY tool tends to fail.
One-stop-shop for all your data needs
To get started with a data extraction service, you just need to tell them your project requirements via online forms, email or a quick call. Data engineers then handle all subsequent steps — from start (crawler set up) to finish (data delivery) — with the highest quality assured along the way.
In Grepsr’s case, our app platform provides a range of features, as shown above, that allows users some control over their data. With our concierge service, customers have the option, if they so wish, to take immediate action on the frequency, quality and delivery of their datasets — all via a single platform.
Web scraping services are more flexible
Unlike scraping tools which are designed for specific websites and generic layouts, DaaS platforms set up individual crawlers based on a client’s requirements. As such, they are easily customizable in terms of data sources, data fields, frequencies, delivery options, etc. even after the initial setup. This flexibility allows enterprises to broaden the scope of their data acquisition efforts without any project complexity bottlenecks.
Data is more accurate and reliable
While using DIY tools, each dataset you extract varies in accuracy from the next one. Because of a scraping software’s build and architecture, there is no guarantee over data quality in the majority of instances.
In contrast, with dedicated audit experts assuring the quality of the data, you can expect to receive the most accurate data. DaaS experts set up crawlers to only extract specific data points at their clients’ requests with the highest degree of accuracy and reliability. As a result, the data is actionable straight out of the box and can be easily leveraged to fuel your organization’s growth.
Data extraction services are much more time and resource-efficient
For enterprises that deal with large volumes of data on a regular basis, learning how to use a tool or software to gather data in-house depletes a lot of valuable time, human and technical resources that they may not necessarily have.
Web scraping services already have the necessary personnel with the technical know-how and experience to deal with even the most complex websites. They save you the pain of a learning curve impacted timeline and give the desired data in a much shorter timespan. Hence, partnering with them is the most efficient way for businesses to acquire the quality data they desperately need.
Services overcome website’s restrictions
In many cases, websites place various challenges and obstacles to block crawlers from being able to access their data. A DIY software would fail each time it encounters such a blockage with no quick fix.
On the other hand, DaaS suppliers are seasoned pros who encounter such issues on a regular basis. They are well-quipped with all provisions in place to handle and overcome each kind of obstacle efficiently so that the constant stream of fresh, quality data into your systems is never compromised.
While DIY data extraction tools do have their merits, they cannot stand up to the might of a specialized, professionally managed service when it comes to enterprise-level data requirements. If your organization’s growth depends on analytical insights from the latest data on a regular basis, trusting and partnering with a DaaS platform is the best way forward.
With Grepsr, you get the best of both worlds — our browser extension works on well-structured websites for simple requirements, while our Concierge service takes care of all your custom, often complex, data needs from start to finish. Contact us today with your requirements.