What is Web Scraping in Data Science? How to Do it?

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What is Web Scraping in Data Science

What is Web Scraping in Data Science? How to Do it?

William Lucas

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What is Web Scraping in Data Science? How to Do it?

Let me tell you what is web scraping in data science in a very simple way. Suppose you want some information from a website. Let’s say a paragraph on Green Energy from Wikipedia.  You can copy and paste the paragraph from Wikipedia or any other source into your document. You have scraped this information.

But what if you want to get large amounts of information from a website as quickly as possible without doing all the work yourself? Such as large amounts of data from a website to train a Machine Learning algorithm?

In such a situation, copying and pasting one by one will not work! And that’s when you’ll need to use Web Scraping.

What is Web Scraping in Data Science?

What is Web Scraping

Web scraping is a process of automating the extraction of data from online sources in an efficient and fast way. With the help of web scraping, you can extract data from any website on your computer, no matter how large the data is.

Quickie: Web scraping in data science means automatically extracting data from websites to use for various data science applications like data cleaning, analysis, and visualization.

So, now you know what web scraping is and why different organizations use it. But how does a web scraper work? While the exact method differs depending on the software or tools you’re using; all web scraping bots follow three basic principles:

  • Step 1: Making an HTTP request to a server
  • Step 2: Extracting and parsing (or breaking down) the website’s code
  • Step 3: Saving the relevant data locally

How Web Scraping in Data Science Works?

A web scrapper understands the structure of a website to get information. This information is collected and then exported into a more helpful format for the user. Be it a spreadsheet or an API.

You can do web scraping in different ways, such as manual data gathering (simple copy/paste), custom scripts, or web scraping tools.

But in most cases, web scraping is not a simple task. Websites come in many shapes and forms; as a result, web scrapers vary in functionality and features.

How web scrapping is useful?

There are many things you can do with the extracted data from web scraping like:

Competitor Research

Get an insight into how your competitors are pricing their products or find what keywords they are targeting.

Industry Insights

You can scrape articles, stocks, and prices to understand how well a particular industry performs.

Generate Leads

Many web scrapers will scrape online directories to find businesses in their target market and create a list to reach out to.

Gather Data for Research

Some big data websites and libraries have the data you need for your research; you can scrape these websites and export them to have them on file.

Financial Data

You can scrape financial data like stocks, income statements, balance sheets, and stock news.

Is Web Scraping Part of Data Science?

Yeah, we can consider web scraping as a part of data science as it helps data scientists collect online data more efficiently and is an essential skill data scientists need.

Web scraping can be manual and automated, but automated web scrapers will get the job done quickly and more effectively.

Important: Big data websites and libraries like Data.gov, Data Description and Amazon Public data sets allow you to extract data that can relate your topic.

There’s a lot of publicly available data that can be used for data science purposes. You can extract data from any website related to your research. Some companies and software engineers will create their web scrapers from scratch. That’s how vital web scraping is for data science.

What is the Purpose of Web Scraping?

The Internet is a data store of the world’s information – be it text, media, or data in any other format. Every web page display data in one form or the other. Access to this data is crucial for the success of most businesses in the modern world.

What is the Purpose of Web Scraping

The purpose of Web Scraping for business and personal requirements is endless. Each business or individual has its own specific need for gathering data. So what is web scraping in data science? the answer depends on how it is going to be used in data science. For example:

Lead Generation for Marketing

You can use web scraping software to generate leads for marketing. You can build email and Phone lists for cold outreach by scraping the data from relevant websites.

Price Comparison & Competition Monitoring

Companies catering products or services need to have comprehensive data of competitor products and services appearing in the market daily. You can use web scraping software to watch this data constantly.

E-Commerce

Web Scraping can periodically extract product data from various e-commerce websites like Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, etc.

Real Estate

Property details displayed by real estate websites like Zillow, Realtor, etc., can be extracted using Web Scraping software.

Data Analysis

You might want to collect and analyze data related to a specific category from multiple websites.

Using a Web Scraper, you can extract data from multiple websites to a single spreadsheet (or database) so that it becomes easy for you to analyze (or visualize) the data.

Academic Research

In this article, what is web scraping in data science data is an integral part of any research, be it academic, marketing, or scientific? A Web Scraper will help you quickly gather structured data from multiple Internet sources.

Can you Get Online Web Scraping Tools?

Yes, You can get online tools for web scraping. Visit the products offered by ScrapewithBots and get the scraper you need for your scraping tasks. You can also contact us if you need a custom-built bot to scrape according to your specific requirements.

FAQs: What is Web Scraping in Data Science

Yes, web scraping is legal. However, some rules need to be followed to stay in the legal circle. Web scraping becomes illegal when non-publicly available data is extracted.

Ending Remarks

As the Internet has grown astronomically and businesses have become increasingly dependent on data, it is now a compulsion to access the latest data on every subject.

Since one of the first steps in analyzing data is to collect it, web scraping can make the first job easier. You can contact us anytime for professional web scraping services.

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