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Challenges and Benefits of Web Data Extraction

What is web data extraction?

Web data extraction is a technique for extracting massive amounts of data that can be found on the internet. The web is a large repository of open data and it keeps on evolving with the rise of the internet. Data extracted from the web can be used in various ways. This article focuses on the challenges and benefits of web data extraction.

Challenges of web data extraction

Some of the challenges faced while performing web data extraction are: 

Data warehousing

Data extraction at a large scale can result in inefficient processing, therefore data warehousing structures need to be scalable, fault-tolerant, and secure.

Changeable web page structure

As the website’s user interface updates, the scraper that’s attached to the code will also require changes.

Anti-scraping technologies

Some websites use anti-scraping technologies that block out IP addresses with a high volume of requests. An example of such would be LinkedIn.

Honeypot traps

It is a trap that website owners put on the page to catch scrapers. The trap is visible to scrapers and once detected, the website usually results in banning that IP address.


Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans APART is frequently used to separate humans and bot users in order to avoid scraping tools.

Benefits of web data extraction

While web data extraction may have its challenges, the benefits it brings are immense, especially towards businesses. Some of the benefits are:

  • Competitor monitoring - Businesses can monitor their computers and identify trends within their consumers and products with data extracted.

If they see competitors offering high prices for certain products, they can reduce theirs to beat them at the market.

  • Product optimization - Businesses can use online reviews and feedback in order to further optimize their product according to customer needs. It makes the whole process of getting and analyzing feedback feasible rather than sending surveys or questionnaires.
  • Investment decisions - These decisions can be tough to make, however, with the usage of web data extraction, historical data can be effectively analyzed to gain an idea of whether the decision will be a successful one or a failure. It enables decision making to be more accurate.

Summing up

Web data extraction is a powerful tool for businesses to govern their business strategies. With the rise in technology, this practice will inevitably become common and be adopted widely by businesses in the future.

PDF Data Extraction Explained

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