There is a lot of data on the web and being able to extract this data can be extremely helpful both in business and in your personal life. In some cases, this may be an easy task but it depends on the kind of data you want and how much needs to be extracted. With this in mind, let’s look at five effective ways to extract web data fast and easily. Just remember that there may be rules, laws, and regulations governing what you can do with the data you extract.
1. Copy and Paste
The most basic way to extract web data is by doing a simple copy and paste. This is great for when you want to extract text and is also an option if you want to view the page source and copy the information you find there. This can then allow you to analyze the coding and use it for your purposes.
Sometimes copying and pasting isn’t possible for a variety of reasons. In cases such as these what you can do if you need the data is to take a screen cap then import it into an image editing device, crop the image to get the data you need, then save it. It isn’t perfect, but it does work if you need something and can’t get it any other way.
2. Spread Sheets
Spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel can oftentimes be used to extract data directly into the form of a spreadsheet. This is a big help when you are working with specific numbers and values that only really make sense in a spreadsheet form such as analyzing various factors when running a business. One example of this would be taking the data from an SEO campaign and putting it into spreadsheet form so that you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Ad campaigns can also similarly benefit from this procedure.
3. Web Scraping Tools
Extracting data that’s a bit more intangible is best done using scraping tools. Such web data extraction software will go over a website and extract the data you need such as gathering statistics from a social media site. Several specific examples include e-commerce sales data, product rankings, SaaS applications, streaming service data, website databases, and lead extraction.
There are many different web scraping tools that you can use and some are better at certain tasks than others. The key to picking one that fits your needs is to first know what kind of data you want and where you’re going to get it from. This will help you choose a scraper that’s best for your situation.
4. Built-in Tools
Some websites have tools that allow you to download data directly. This could be something along the lines of downloading sales data from an e-commerce platform, getting SEO data from a website builder, or getting data on your clicks from an ad service. The thing to keep in mind is that the quality of this data, and how easy it is to download, all depends on the platform itself and the tools they provide. Most are decent enough while others are primitive and difficult to use. If the built-in tools aren’t enough to give you what you need, then using a scraper may be the best solution.
5. Out Sourcing
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy and using a scrapper is simply too difficult for you, then the easiest way to get the data you need from the web is to simply pay someone else to do it for you. Chances are they will use a scraper of some sort but in some cases, they may need access to your account to use the built-in tools of a website. Alternatively, if you’re trying to extract data from a website that you own, they may use addons or plugins to make the job easier. The entire procedure might be able to be automated.
Web Data Extraction Made Easy
The best thing about extracting data from the web is that there are usually many options to choose from. If one method isn’t working or is too difficult for you, then there is an alternative in most cases. Just remember that while extracting data is usually legal, what you do with that data can be subject to a variety of laws. Also, trying to extract restricted data can be illegal so make sure you’ve done your research beforehand and know what you’re doing