Over the past few years, big data insights have morphed from an interesting footnote to an essential driver of corporate decisions. While there are plenty of economic, accounting, and marketing firms who are happy to sell you reports of the latest industry trends, the data they use is often stale and generic. Developing business strategies based on data from last year that’s already baked into industry-standard practices is a good way to achieve mediocre results.
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If you’re looking for truly valuable insights that are fresh and specific, you’ll need to collect your own data and analyze it for the trends most relevant to your business. Once this would have required a team of researchers and data scientists, but automatic data collection is now within the capabilities of even small businesses thanks to a process called web scraping. Web scraping is the best way to automate data collection for detailed analysis.
What Is Automatic Data Collection?
- Price monitoring
- Lead generation
- Market research
- Product development
- Customer sentiment analysis
- Brand monitoring
Automating data collection with a web scraper allows you to pull data from many different websites and use it to answer almost any question you have about your business. Data analysis is a process that continually builds on itself. The more data you analyze, the more uses you’ll find for it.
How to Automatically Pull Data from a Website
Web scrapers can perform data extraction far faster than any human. A simple web scraper can do in hours what it would take your employees weeks or months to do. Although this is the main benefit of web scrapers, it’s also the reason you’re likely to have problems when you start web scraping. As mentioned above, web scrapers are bots, and most websites include technology to ban bots. Some websites ban bots because they don’t want their competitors using their data, but most of them ban them to limit server overload or stop bad actors with malicious intent.
If you simply set up your web scraper and let it go, it will start rapidly collecting data, right up until it gets banned from the website. When your web scraper sends a request for data, there’s an IP address attached to it. Your IP address gives some general information about where you’re located. When a website identifies multiple requests coming from the same IP address, it recognizes that a bot must be sending those requests and bans that IP address.
How to Overcome Bans When Automating Data Collection
When you use a proxy, your device will send a request to the proxy provider. The proxy provider will attach a different IP address to the request and then send it onto the website. The website sends the request back to the proxy, which sends it back to you. It’s not just enough to use one proxy IP address, however. If a website detects multiple requests coming from the proxy IP address, it will simply ban that IP address. You’ll be in the same situation with the proxy IP address that you were with your real IP address.
The solution is to use a rotating pool of proxy IP addresses. Rotating multiple proxy IP addresses allows you to use a different IP address for every request. So if your web scraper sends out a thousand different requests, each one will have a different IP address attached to it. This makes it look like a thousand different people are sending one request, which is much more consistent with human behavior.
Combining a web scraper with proxies will give your company the tools it needs to zoom in on the specific data you need to make crucial business decisions. When your strategy is backed up by relevant data, you’ll have a significant edge over your competition.
Choosing a Proxy Provider
Light Proxies offers optimized proxies ready to go for all use cases. Your proxies will be delivered instantly, with no downtime spent waiting for replacements. We have proxies located in many locations throughout the U.S. as well as in Germany and Brazil. We proactively monitor proxies to ensure maximum uptime and stability and offer live 24/7 customer support if you run into any problems.Our fast, reliable data center proxies are the best on the market, with unlimited bandwidth and free setup. We offer options for every budget and a 2-day free trial to get you started. Light Proxies are ideal for:
- Social media monitoring
- Link building
- Buying sneakers
Reach out to our team today to find out how we can help your business implement your corporate data strategy.
Data analysis is an essential part of formulating a successful business strategy. Businesses need a reliable method to automate data collection for processing and acting upon the large amount of data created daily. By using a web scraper and a rotating pool of proxies, you can gain a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. Whether your company needs actionable insights for marketing, product design, pricing decisions, brand monitoring, or all of those, web scraping can provide it.