Wisconsin Web Scraping

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Data Scraping Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

All You Need Is the Right Data Scraping Partner

Odds are your business needs web data scraping. Data scraping is the act of using software to harvest desired data from target websites. So, instead of you spending every second scouring the internet and copying and pasting from the screen, the software (called “spiders”) does it for you, saving you precious time and resources.

Departments across an organization will profit from data scraping practices.

Data scraping will save countless hours and headaches by doing the following:

- Monitoring competitors’ prices, locations and service offerings
- Harvesting directory and list data from the web, significantly improving your lead generation
- Acquiring customer and product marketing insight from forums, blogs and review sites
- Extracting website data for research and competitive analysis
- Social media scraping for trend and customer analysis
- Collecting regular or even real time updates of exchange rates, insurance rates, interest rates, -mortgage rates, real estate, stock prices and travel prices

It is a no-brainer, really. Businesses of all sizes are integrating data scraping into their business initiatives. Make sure you stay ahead of the competition by effectively data scraping.

Now for the hard part

The “why should you data scrape?” is the easy part. The “how” gets a bit more difficult. Are you savvy in Python and HTML? What about JavaScript and AJAX? Do you know how to utilize a proxy server? As your data collection grows, do you have the cloud-based infrastructure in place to handle the load? If you or someone at your organization can answer yes to these questions, do they have the time to take on all the web data scraping tasks? More importantly, is it a cost-effective use of your valuable staffing resources for them to do this? With constantly changing websites, resulting in broken code and websites automatically blacklisting your attempts, it could be more of a resource drain than anticipated.

Instead of focusing on all the issues above, business users should be concerned with essential questions such as:

- What data do I need to grow my business?
- Can I get the data I need, when I want it and in a format I can use?
- Can the data be easily stored for future analysis?
- Can I maximize my staffing resources and get this data without any programming knowledge or IT assistance?
- Can I start now?
- Can I cost-effectively collect the data needed to grow my business?

A web data scraping partner is standing by to help you!

This is where purchasing innovative web scraping services can be a game changer. The right partner can harness the value of the web for you. They will go into the weeds so you can spend your precious time growing your business.

Hold on a second! Before you run off to purchase data scraping services, you need to make sure you are looking for the solution that best fits your organisational needs. Don’t get overwhelmed. We know that relinquishing control of a critical business asset can be a little nerve-wracking. To help, we have come up with our steps and best practices for choosing the right data scraping company for your organisation.

1) Know Your Priorities

We have brought this up before, but when going through a purchasing decision process we like to turn to Project Management 101: The Project Management Triangle. For this example, we think a Euler diagram version of the triangle fits best.
Data Scraping and the Project Management Triangle

In this example, the constraints show up as Fast (time), Good (quality) and Cheap (cost). This diagram displays the interconnection of all three elements of the project. When using this diagram, you are only able to pick two priorities. Only two elements may change at the expense of the third:

- We can do the project quickly with high quality, but it will be costly
- We can do the project quickly at a reduced cost, but quality will suffer
- We can do a high-quality project at a reduced cost, but it will take much longer
Using this framework can help you shape your priorities and budget. This really, in turn, helps you search for and negotiate with a data scraping company.

2) Know your budget/resources.

This one is so important it is on here twice. Knowing your budget and staffing resources before reaching out to data scraping companies is key. This will make your search much more efficient and help you manage the entire process.

3) Have a plan going in.

Once again, you should know your priorities, budget, business objectives and have a high-level data scraping plan before choosing a data scraping company. Here are a few plan guidelines to get you started:

- Know what data points to collect: contact information, demographics, prices, dates, etc.
- Determine where the data points can most likely be found on the internet: your social media and review sites, your competitors’ sites, chambers of commerce and government sites, e-commerce sites your products/competitors’ products are sold, etc.
- What frequency do you need this data and what is the best way to receive it? Make sure you can get the data you need and in the correct format. Determine whether you can perform a full upload each time or just the changes from the previous dataset. Think about whether you want the data delivered via email, direct download or automatically to your Amazon S3 account.
- Who should have access to the data and how will it be stored once it is harvested?
- Finally, the plan should include what you are going to do with all this newly acquired data and who is receiving the final analysis.

4) Be willing to change your plan.

This one may seem counterintuitive after so much focus on having a game plan. However, remember to be flexible. The whole point of hiring experts is that they are the experts. A plan will make discussions much more productive, but the experts will probably offer insight you hadn’t thought of. Be willing to integrate their advice into your plan.

5) Have a list of questions ready for the company.

Having a list of questions ready for the data scraping company will help keep you in charge of the discussions and negotiations. Here are some points that you should know before choosing a data scraping partner:
- Can they start helping you immediately? Make sure they have the infrastructure and staff to get - you off the ground in a matter of weeks, not months.
- Make sure you can access them via email and phone. Also make sure you have access to those -actually performing the data scraping, not just a call center.
- Can they tailor their processes to fit with your requirements and organisational systems?
- Can they scrape more than plain text? Make sure they can harvest complex and dynamic sites -with JavaScript and AJAX. If a website’s content can be viewed on a browser, they should be-- able to get it for you.
- Make sure they have monitoring systems in place that can detect changes, breakdowns, and -quality issues. This will ensure you have access to a persistent and reliable flow of data, even - when the targeted websites change formats.
- As your data grows, can they easily keep up? Make sure they have scalable solutions that could - handle all that unstructured web data.
- Will they protect your company? Make sure they know discretion is important and that they will not advertise you as a client unless you give permission. Also, check to see how they disguise their scrapers so that the data harvesting cannot be traced back to your business.

6) Check their reviews.

Do a bit of your own manual data scraping to see what others business are saying about the companies you are researching.

7) Make sure the plan the company offers is cost-effective.

Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you get a full view of the costs and fees in the estimate:
- Is there a setup fee?
- What are the fixed costs associated with this project?
- What are the variable costs and how are they calculated?
- Are there any other taxes, fees or things that I could be charged for that are not listed on this -quote?
- What are the payment terms?

Source Url :-http://www.data-scraping.com.au/data-scraping-doesnt-have-to-be-hard/

Saturday, 10 June 2017

How Artificial Intelligence Can be Applied to Web Data Extraction

How Artificial Intelligence Can be Applied to Web Data Extraction

Artificial intelligence is not a new topic at all. A lot has been written about it and it has been a popular theme of sci-fi movies from a decade ago. However, it was only recently that we started seeing AI in action. Thanks to the ever-increasing computing power, our machines are much faster and powerful now which also gives a huge boost to AI. It goes without saying that artificial intelligence requires more computing power to be truly intelligent and mimic the human brain.

artificial intelligence web data extraction

AI is finding its way into many everyday objects that we use. The voice assistant apps on your smartphone are a great example for this. Facebook’s face recognition algorithm is another example for intelligent pattern recognition technology in action. We believe that the extraction of data from web is something that humans shouldn’t be burdened with. Artificial intelligence could be the right solution to aggregating huge data sets from the web with minimal manual interference.

Artificial Intelligence VS Machine Learning

There is a stark difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence. In machine learning, you teach the machine to do something within narrowly defined rules along with some training examples. This training and rules are necessary for the machine learning system to achieve some level of success in the process it’s being taught. Whereas, in artificial intelligence, it does the teaching itself with minimal number of rules and loose training.  It can then go on to make rules for itself from the exposure that it gets, which contributes to the continued learning process. This is made possible by using artificial neural networks. Artificial neural networks and deep learning are used in artificial intelligence for speech and object recognition, image segmentation, modeling language and human motion.

Artificial intelligence in web data extraction

The web is a giant repository where data is vast and abundant. The possibilities that come with this amount of data can be ground breaking. The challenge is to navigate through this unstructured pile of information out there on the web and extract it. It takes a lot of time and effort to scrape data from the web, even with the advanced web scraping technologies. But things are about to change. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently released a paper on an artificial intelligence system that can extract information from sources on the web and learn how to do it on its own.

The research paper introduces an information extraction system that can extract structured data from unstructured documents automatically. To put it simply, the system can think like humans while looking at a document. When humans cannot find a particular piece of information in a document, we find alternative sources to fill the gap. This adds to our knowledge on the topic in question. The AI system works just like this.
The AI system works on rewards and penalties

The working of this AI based data extraction system involves classifying the data with a ‘Confidence score’. This confidence score determines the probability of the classification being statistically correct and is derived from the patterns in the training data. If the confidence score doesn’t meet the set threshold, the system will automatically search the web for more relevant data. Once the adequate confidence score is achieved by extracting new data from the web and integrating it with the current document, it will deem the task successful. If the confidence score is not met, the process continues until the most relevant data has been pulled out.

This type of learning mechanism is called ‘Reinforcement learning’ and works by the notion of learning by reward. It’s very similar to how humans learn. Since there can be a lot of uncertainty associated with the data being merged together, especially where contrasting information is involved, the rewards are given based on the accuracy of the information. With the training provided, the AI learns how to optimally merge different pieces of data together so that the answers we get from the system is as accurate as possible.
AI in action

To test how well the artificial intelligence system can extract data from the web, researchers gave it a test task. The system was to analyse various data sources on mass shootings in the USA and extract the name of the shooter, number of injured, fatalities and the location. The performance was in fact mind blowing as it could pull up the accurate data the way it was needed while beating conventionally taught data extraction mechanisms by more than 10 percent.

The future of data extraction

With ever increasing need for data and the challenges associated with acquiring it, AI could be what’s missing in the equation. The research is promising and hints at a future where intelligent bots with human sight can read and crawl web documents to tell us the bits we need to know.

The AI system could be a game changer in research tasks that require a lot of manual work from humans now. A system like this will not only save time but also enables us to make use of the abundance of information out there on the web. Looking at the bigger picture, this new research is only a step towards creating the truly intelligent web spider that can master a variety of tasks just like humans rather than being focused at just one process.

Source:https://www.promptcloud.com/blog/artificial-intelligence-web-data-extraction

Monday, 5 June 2017

Website Data Scraping Services

To help you in creating information databases, business portals and mailing lists, we provide efficient and accurate website data scraping services. We have been serving many worldwide clients for their specific requirements and delivering them structured data after collecting from World Wide Web. Our capabilities allow us to scrape data from an assortment of sources including websites, blogs, podcasts, and online directories etc.

 We have a team of skilled and experienced web scraping professionals who can deliver you results in the file format you needed such as Excel, CSV, Access, TXT and My SQL. We have expertise in automated as well as manual data scraping that ensure one hundred percent accuracy in the outcome. Our web data scraping professionals not only help you in gathering high-value data from the internet but also enable you to improve strategic insights and create new business opportunities.

What our website data scraping services include?

We provide a wide range of website data scraping services including data collection, data extraction, screen scraping and web data scraping. With its web scraping services, Data Outsourcing India helps you to crawl thousands of websites and gather useful information or data flawlessly. Using our web data scraping service, we can extract phone numbers, email addresses, reviews, ratings, business addresses, product details, contact information (name, title, department, company, country, city, state, etc.) and other business related data from following sources:

- Market place portals
- Auction portals
- Business directories
- Government online databases
- Statistics data from websites
- Social networking sites
- Online shopping portals
- Job portals
- Classifieds websites
- Hotels and restaurant portals
- News portals

Why outsource website data scraping services to us?

Our web data extraction experts have in-depth knowledge for screen scraping processes and it enables us to extract essential information from any online portal or database. If you outsource website data scraping to us, we assure you about accurate collection of information in easy to retrieval format. Here are some key benefits you gain with us:

- Tailor made processes to suit any kind of need
- Strict security and confidentiality policies
- A rigorous Quality Control (QC) process
- Leverage an optimum mix of techniques and technology
- Almost 60-65% savings on operational cost
- You get you project completed in industry’s best TAT
- Round-the-clock customer support
- Access to a dedicated team of website data scraping professionals

 With our quick, accurate and affordable web scraping services, we are helping worldwide large as well as medium size companies. Our clients are from different industries- including real estate, healthcare, banking, finance, insurance, automobiles, marketing, academics, human resources, ecommerce, manufacturing, travel, hotels and more. The-  multifaceted experience facilitates us in delivering every online data scraping project with ZERO error rates.

Source Url:-http://www.dataoutsourcingindia.com/website-data-scraping-services.html