Five things to consider before onboarding an external data provider.
So, you’ve made the decision to move away from manual web data collection. If you work in a major company, you might have experienced the frustrations of frequent crawler breakdowns and consistently poor-quality data.
It’s only natural to attempt to solve these issues on your own. After all, you’ve gone through the entire data extraction process, but the associated costs no longer justify your spend.
The applications of web scraping are vast, spanning industries from e-commerce to healthcare. However, no matter the industry, the need for quality data is paramount. Quality data serves as the foundation, providing the building blocks for your vision to stand upon.
This is where the importance of choosing the right external data provider cannot be overstated. You will frequently rely on this data to make crucial decisions, and the quality of your data directly impacts the success of your projects.
In this article, we will explore five key considerations to keep in mind before onboarding an external data provider.
1. Data Quality
The accuracy of your data is fundamental to the quality of your insights, the dependability of your learning models, and the success of your business strategy.
This crucial connection underscores the importance of maintaining precise and up-to-date data sources, which can significantly enhance your decision-making capabilities and overall performance.
Here are some major aspects to consider when assessing an external data provider:
Your external data provider must deliver data that is up-to-date, reliable, and free from errors and inconsistencies.
Grepsr is renowned for its commitment to data quality. In addition to automated quality assurance checks, we tailor our data quality workflow to meet your specific needs and service level agreements (SLAs).
Furthermore, for any external data provider to ensure consistent and reliable data, they must possess technical expertise in real-time data extraction at scale.
This includes capabilities such as bypassing captchas, rotating IPs, and employing auto-throttling techniques to avoid undue strain on source websites. We’ll delve deeper into these aspects later on.
Data source coverage
Another important consideration is the diversity and richness of data sources that an external provider can access. Since many websites tailor their content based on geographical regions, it’s essential to assess the data provider’s ability to handle such variations.
For example, an e-commerce website might display different product prices, availability, or recommendations to users in different regions. News websites might provide localized news stories, and search engines may prioritize results based on the user’s location.
To ensure that the data you receive from an external provider is accurate, relevant, and actionable, you must consider how well the provider can handle these variations.
This involves assessing their technological capabilities, data collection methods, and data processing techniques.
You’ll often come across certain inconsistencies when extracting data at scale. For instance, if you need leads for your product or service, you might get a dataset with missing details for phone numbers, emails, and job titles.
At Grepsr, we encounter these problems on a day-to-day basis. We rely on our large pool of external data to populate the missing fields and thereby perform effective data enrichment.
2. Technical prowess
Your external data provider must possess the technical expertise to handle challenging use cases, as web scraping needs vary widely in terms of size and complexity.
One significant advantage of using cloud-based external data providers like Grepsr is the ability to meet custom data requirements and facilitate data transformations seamlessly. Additionally, outsourcing to Grepsr eliminates the limitations associated with local data extraction, such as resource constraints on RAM and CPU.
Grepsr’s data extraction infrastructure is AI-powered, allowing for sophisticated post-processing tasks like parsing, filtering, and labeling. We employ advanced AI techniques, including AI classification, keyword scraping, entity recognition, and topic modeling.
In summary, Grepsr’s data extraction infrastructure offers the following key features:
- Highly-scalable data infrastructure: Enabling data extraction at scale while navigating security controls.
- Data integration and automation: Schedule data crawlers using intuitive schedulers to automate data acquisition.
- Team collaboration: Access a dedicated and private communication channel for team members to collaborate on data projects.
- Quality at scale: Implement scalable quality control processes using technology and dedicated reviewers to ensure consistent high data quality.
3. Customer support
Ask a data extraction veteran, and you’ll quickly discover that the web scraping process is far from straightforward.
Beyond the usual challenges such as websites blocking scraping attempts, evolving data structures, and technical limitations, the role of customer support emerges as a critical factor in the success of any web scraping project.
Customer support extends beyond mere assistance—it is a cornerstone of our commitment to data quality. Without the valuable input and feedback from our customers, our customer service representatives wouldn’t be able to provide essential insights to our development team.
This collaborative feedback loop has created a virtuous cycle of data quality improvement.
Our customers remain at the forefront when it comes to data quality. They relay user concerns, requests, and suggestions directly to our product development team, effectively influencing the direction of our data extraction tools and services.
In essence, customer support is about more than just aiding users in data extraction; it is indispensable for empowering users to efficiently extract and utilize the data they need. It complements the technical challenges by ensuring that our tools and services align with user requirements.
4. Pricing plans
Cost is a significant factor when choosing an external data provider. Pricing models can vary widely, from pay-per-use to subscription-based models. Consider the following:
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Calculate the TCO, including subscription fees, data acquisition costs, and any additional fees for data access or integration.
- Scalability: Assess how pricing scales as your data needs grow. Ensure that the provider’s pricing aligns with your long-term objectives.
- Licensing Terms: Review the provider’s licensing terms carefully. Some providers may have restrictions on data usage or redistribution.
- Hidden Costs: Be wary of hidden fees or charges that may arise during data integration or usage.
Grepsr has typically stood out for its transparent and adaptable pricing model, tailored to the diverse landscape of web data requirements. Data needs vary in complexity, frequency, maintenance, volume, and post-processing demands.
Our pricing structure incorporates these factors, ensuring fairness and clarity. With more than a decade of experience in handling intricate web sources, Grepsr guarantees that your project’s pricing will precisely match its unique nuances.
Scalability is a significant concern for brands whose services rely on web data. Your external data provider should be capable of scaling with your growing web data needs.
Cloud-based data extraction infrastructure typically offers the agility needed to accommodate your expanding data requirements. Grepsr is an enterprise-level external data provider, ensuring that if you are a web scraping power user, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some benefits of choosing Grepsr as an external data provider:
Scalability and flexibility
Grepsr’s cloud-based infrastructure allows for easy scalability to accommodate varying data extraction needs. Whether it’s extracting data from a few websites or scaling up to handle large-scale projects, our flexibility ensures that your data extraction operations remain efficient and cost-effective.
Grepsr’s infrastructure is designed to be highly reliable and available. With robust data centers and redundant systems, you can count on consistent uptime and minimal disruptions to your data extraction tasks. This reliability is crucial for businesses that rely on timely and accurate data for decision-making.
Security and data privacy
Grepsr places a strong emphasis on data security and privacy. Our cloud-based infrastructure employs encryption protocols and access controls to safeguard sensitive information. Compliance with industry standards and regulations ensures that your data remains confidential and protected throughout the extraction process.
Automated data extraction
Grepsr’s infrastructure is equipped with powerful automation features, allowing users to schedule and automate data extraction tasks. This saves time and reduces manual intervention, enabling you to focus on analyzing the extracted data rather than the extraction process itself.
Easy collaboration and accessibility
The cloud-based nature of Grepsr’s infrastructure makes it easy for teams to collaborate on data extraction projects. Multiple users can access and manage data extraction tasks from different locations, enhancing productivity and coordination. Additionally, data can be accessed and exported conveniently through a user-friendly interface, ensuring that extracted data is readily available for analysis and reporting.
Your search for an external data provider has ended
Choosing the right external data provider is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact the success of your data-driven projects. As you embark on this journey, here are the key takeaways to keep in mind:
Quality data forms the bedrock of informed decision-making. Ensure that your external data provider offers accurate, up-to-date, and error-free data, with the ability to handle regional variations and enrich data as needed.
Your provider should possess the technical expertise to handle diverse web scraping needs, offering scalability, AI-powered data processing, and automation to streamline data extraction and transformation.
Effective customer support is indispensable in navigating the complexities of web scraping. A responsive and collaborative support team can make a significant difference in the success of your projects.
Evaluate the total cost of ownership, scalability, licensing terms, and potential hidden costs to ensure that the pricing model aligns with your long-term objectives and project requirements.
Choose a provider like Grepsr that offers scalability, flexibility, high reliability, security, and automated data extraction. These features are essential for accommodating your evolving web data needs and ensuring the efficiency of your operations.
Ultimately, the right external data provider will not only provide you with high-quality data but also empower your organization to harness the full potential of web data, enabling data-driven decision-making and helping you achieve your business goals.
Grepsr is known particularly for its commitment to data quality, proactive customer support, and the ability to handle complex data extraction use cases.
If you are looking to leverage web data as an enterprise asset, then, you have landed on the right blog. We hope you have everything you need to make the right call.