Data are abundant on the web today. The ever-growing need for data for prudent decision-making demands harvesting them to uncover useful information. Researchers use web scraping to get hold of information, test hypotheses, and validate evidence. Regardless of the domain and industry, web scraping has become a tailwind that favors exponential business growth.
The growth engine to create data dynamics comes from data that is rich and curated to address the computational demands. Such data finds its destiny in various use cases for powering up research.
Applications of web scraping in research
Researchers look for data to answer questions to resolve and find value from novel patterns, identify insights, and create solutions that are strategic and sustainable. In this ever-evolving landscape of research, web scraping has found its power to unlock various information for various use cases. Some of which are as follows:
- Realtime data for market research and sales
- Data for academic research
- Customer sentiment analysis and brand reputation
- Web scraping for financial research
Realtime data for market research and sales
Successful businesses rely on a strong foundation of market research before honing their business for large impactful operations and decisions. From identifying past trends to understanding the market’s pulse, market research helps identify economic trends, the viability of a business, and mitigating risk. The scope of web scraping in market research ranges from identifying the demand to pooling the right sales into the pocket. Scraping of web data such as SERP in real-time, crawling industry insights from publishing journals, and scraping data from news articles to track information, disinformation, and curated data plays a significant role in gauging the market.
Let us say you want to start a small business. What competitors offer is crucial in determining your product strategy. Right from the SKUs and variants, competitor pricing information plays a crucial role in fixing your product strategy. And the game is even more relevant in online business scenarios where every underlying data behind business brings revelation of how to strategize your business.
Data for academic research
Data Science has already found its place in today’s world of academics and research. Scientists and academicians who are born from various domains of data have found huge scope by teasing out data, identifying patterns, and leaving significant value to society by and large.
However finding value from data should be their core concern, rather than wasting time in dealing with complexities in extracting the data. This is where simplifying web scraping has become a key in enabling them to get hold of the right data and focus on converting the data to knowledge goes a long way. From hunger to poverty, from applied research to scientific breakthroughs, countless social problems, theories, and inventions have found a home at the researcher’s table to be solved with the help of data. As easily available as US Census Bureau data to complex data such as academic journals, or Google Scholar, the source of data varies from use case to use case. Acquiring these data within the legal framework is not so easy without the help of web scraping tools.
Customer sentiment analysis and brand reputation
Human voice makes or breaks a business. This is more so in the digital era, where customer sentiments play a huge role in businesses building social intelligence. Tapping into how customers think, how they behave, what they need, what they like, and what they dislike paves the way to acquiring essential intelligence to augment your efforts in building and strengthening your core around them. Capturing the social intelligence, and understanding how competitors roll the dice in the competitive landscape helps in building a strong and reliable brand. However, the data to acquire social intelligence is not that easy.
Why? One because of their monstrous volume and two because of their turbulent nature of existence. They are often in the most unstructured form available in heaps that are difficult to pick and curate. Equally interesting is the ability to isolate noise from the clutter. As it indicates, web scraping for customer sentiment analysis is a painful yet rewarding pursuit for any business. The right tool helps you with real-time intelligence and automates obtaining pertinent information. Tools in the market have also evolved with the market to bring data and craft solutions to deliver the information you need in the way you want. This lets businesses act on them without having to dump them in the backyard of ‘yet another data.’
Web scraping for financial research
From investment strategy to risk management, financial research relies heavily on very focused, accurate information. While there are numerous solutions available to tap the data, selecting a web scraping tool for financial research needs a special focus. Often, traditional data alone would not suffice to take a stride in financial research. Harnessing alternate data such as news, patent information and legal actions along with publicly available information can prove to be worthy in your research journey. The challenges that come with financial data extraction are often not limited to accuracy, but sourcing the right data, unstructured data extraction, harnessing critical data elements in the data sets, and data cleaning to make sense for computation and prudent financial analysis.
Organizations can take full advantage of data through web scraping to elevate the complete spectrum of the research ecosystem. The value of open data is bountiful. A well-structured acquisition and usage of the data for research can provide a great success story and unfair advantage.