Smart use of Web Data is fueling rising organizations in the 21st century. You need intelligent insights from web data to drive your business forward. This data is spread across hundreds of websites with varying complexity.
There are two popular ways to get web data: DIY web scraping tools and DaaS.
For newbies, a DIY web scraping tool allows you to scrape a website without knowing how to code. Whereas DaaS or Data As A Service – Data as a service vendor deliver data in a format of your choice in a subscription model.
Let’s briefly understand the difference between these two methods of data extraction
DIY web scraping tool: You can scrape a website using a DIY web scraping tool without knowing how to code. There are different commercial tools you can purchase and employ to do the job for you. Scraping tools are best used for ad-hoc projects. It works well when you have a specific group of websites you want the crawlers to gather data from. If you ask the tool to go into the open web and gather data for you, chances are it won’t do such an amazing job at it. So it is advised to use it for more specific jobs.
DaaS or Data As A Service: Data as a service vendor deliver data in a format of your choice in a subscription model. DaaS stands for data as a service and you can find different companies that can provide you with the data you need by doing the extraction work for you. You can purchase the data from them and don’t have to purchase a scraping tool or develop an infrastructure to extract data yourself. You rely solely on the data that is provided by DaaS in this regard and while you do give them a guideline, you don’t have complete control over the data and how it is extracted. DaaS does prove some greater advantages as there are experts in the field working at extracting and providing you with the data so it is more viable.
At an enterprise level, you need to deal with a huge volume of data and a large number of websites. So, choosing the right data partner is critical.
DIY web scraping tool or DaaS? – This is a long debated topic. This blog post discusses why you should choose DaaS over a DIY web scraping tool.
Data as a Service won’t drain your pocket and resources
You need to use your people to operate the DIY web scraping tool. Scraping is just a part of the whole process, you need people for Q&A and maintenance. Web sites will change their pattern quite often and constant maintenance is a must. If you have a five-member team, you will end up spending close to $500K in salaries alone, assuming you are a silicon valley startup.
If you are using a Data as a service vendor, you don’t need an in-house team. You don’t need to smoke your head thinking about the complexities of data extraction. By reckoning on an information service supplier, you may save the price of software package, resources, and labour needed to run internet locomotion within the firm. It is the responsibility of the vendor to deliver the data. The cost will be significantly less compared to an In-house team with a DIY web scraping tool. Besides, you may additionally find yourself having longer and fewer worries. More of the time and energy will so come in the analysis half that is crucial to you as a business owner.
DIY Web Scraping Tool will get outdated quite often
Web technology is constantly evolving. Generic DIY web scraping tools get outdated when websites change their pattern. DIY web scraping tools would require constant maintenance to stay updated with technology changes thus consuming human resources at your end. This makes DIY web scraping tools an unreliable solution for a large scale data acquisition project.
Data as a Service offers Better flexibility
At an enterprise level, you will definitely need some flexibility in terms of customized solutions. A generic DIY scraping tool can’t offer customizations. This limitation can affect the quality of the data you are getting. There will be no guarantee of the quality of the data you are getting. Do you want to put yourself in trouble by choosing DIY web scraping tools?
Accuracy in results
A DIY website scraping tool may be able to bring you the requisite data, however, the accuracy of this data can vary. You would possibly be able to get it right with a selected web site, however, that may not be the case with others. This provides uncertainty to the results of your knowledge acquisition and will even alter insights in your data analysis. On the opposite hand, a professional scraping service can provide you with extremely accurate and filtered data sets, which will be in ready-to-consume form.
When scraping datasets at large scale, the DIY scraping tool tends to be much slower than a professional DaaS service. DAAS providers use the right infrastructure and resources for fast and efficient scraping of large scale data from the web. It might not be feasible for your firm to acquire and manage a DIY setup as it may affect the focus, time and consume more resources from your business.
Cleaning up of data
Web scrapers collect data into a dump file which is huge in size. If you opt for a DIY scraping tool, you’ll have to do a lot of cleaning up to get data in a usable format. With scraping tools, you will have to depend on more tools to clean up the data collected. This will be a waste of time and effort. But with a service, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up of the data as it comes with the service. Final data will be available in a plug and use format, this enables you to focus on more important aspects.
Site policies may be an issue
The websites from which we want to extract data will sometimes have some policies causing an issue with scraping data from those sites. A well-established information scraping supplier will certainly follow the foundations and policies set by the web site. This could mean you’ll be able to mitigate such worries and focus more on discovering actionable insights from the information that they supply.
The bottom line is…
Your business needs a web data extraction partner you can trust. Due to various reasons stated above, a DIY web scraping tool is not a good choice. To maximize the ROI and cut risk, it’s better to have a Data as a Service provider as your partner.
To help organizations extract large scale data from the web without any hassles, Datahut offers affordable data extraction services (DaaS). If you need help with your web scraping projects, get in touch and we will be glad to help.