Everyone should keep a close eye on data scraping because this technique will affect all industries sooner or later. As the number of internet users keeps growing, the future of web scraping looks bright. More internet users mean more data.
Even if a business operates entirely outside the internet, it can benefit from valuable data that can be found online. Among many other things, this helps companies stay competitive. Data scraping is not another buzzword that will die out in a couple of years.
Today, we are going to talk about why data scraping is growing in popularity. We will also talk about future applications and the development of this technique.
Data Scraping Facts & Figures
Before we talk about the importance of data scraping and its future, let’s see the current state of world data. At the moment, there are over 1.7 billion active websites. From 2016 to 2017, the number of sites increased by a whopping 900 million.
In 2000, there were 413 million active internet users, and in 2019, the number reached 4.1 billion users. The amount of online data created in 2019 was 41 zettabytes, while forecasts show that it will reach 175 zettabytes in 2025.
If we are to put things in perspective, a single zettabyte equals a trillion gigabytes. This means that the internet is continually generating lots of information by users and websites. All of this information is a constant source for new data scraping campaigns that can provide valuable insights.
The Importance of Data in Business
We all know of the famous saying, “knowledge is power.” This is more true in business than anywhere else. Data is represented in the form of statistics and raw facts that can be turned into valuable business information. Information is organized, specific, and put into a context that provides relevance.
Data gives businesses more relevant knowledge. This knowledge is used in several ways to improve business performance.
Better Customer Experience
Customer experience is very important in modern business. Companies have a better insight into consumer behavior now more than ever. Data allows companies to notice trends, customer sticking points, major concerns, and the choices they have.
All of this helps find new customers, retain them, create sales strategies, and improve the overall brand experience.
Some of the common questions businesses need answering are:
- When to launch new products?
- How to market in the future?
- Which market to expand to?
The data generated by the company and on the web can help get answers to these questions. Precise information and accurate numbers help make better-informed decisions. Businesses are no longer making decisions without relying on questionable data sources.
Understanding Competition, Market, and Consumers
Companies are already using lots of different data to understand their respectable markets. Simple keyword research can help understand product features customers are interested in. Based on this data, companies can determine their future product designs.
On the other hand, keyword frequencies can also be used to identify current and future trends. These are just some of the examples of how data is used for these business goals.
Major Uses of Data Scraping
Data scraping is a powerful tool, and many companies have established business models around this practice. Here are the most popular types of data scraping today:
Social Media Analysis
A lot of useful data is generated on social media. With data scraping, it’s possible to monitor feeds on social networks. These real-time feeds can be used to examine things like mentions, affinities towards brands, products, or services, shares, comments, and so on.
Improving SEO Practices
Various SEO scrappers can gather, analyze, and compare content in the context of SEO. This can help marketers create better keyword strategies and content that is relevant for their brands.
Price Comparison and Coupon Extraction
We can already see some platforms that have based their business models around data scraping. For example, lots of websites gather information about prices for the same products and current discounts. They make it easier for customers to find the best deal they are looking for.
These are just some of the ways data scraping is already being used. There are many other opportunities businesses can make use of.
The Future of Data Scraping
Data scraping is literally limitless. At first, it was only available to coders. Today, we have companies offering scrapping services and tools that professionals can buy to use themselves. This freedom and potential of use is also the biggest issue for future use.
As data is freely available to anyone willing to take it, there are concerns about privacy issues, and potential legislation is possible in the future.