Data extraction is a fast-evolving aspect of technology that involves retrieving data from different sources such as legacy systems, databases, web pages, online transactions, software, and many more. It is usually the first step in what is known as the ETL process – extract, transform and load.
If you are into any business involving data, then data extraction must be relevant to you. You will need to learn how to extract data from websites to get the necessary business insight and prepare your data analysis.
In data extraction, semi-structured or unstructured data is turned into structured data. Structured data gives meaningful insights your business can use for analytics and reporting.
Web scraping, which also refers to data extraction with the help of bots, has been known to be effective in comparing market pricing. It helps improve productivity and allows you strategically position your business to excel.
Importance of Data Extraction
Data extraction is crucial to any business. But it is crucial to learn how to extract data from website to gain the following benefits from the process:
Efficient Decision Making
When you can get your data properly extracted, it will allow you to obtain useful information hidden beneath unstructured data. You can use the data to check how the business is faring and make vital decisions about the venture.
Reduces Manual Errors
Despite the technology evolving, some businesses stick to the old system of manually extracting data and other information stored within their systems. This process is prone to errors due to incorrect/missing data, duplicates, and incomplete records. Using the automated extraction process will allow you to encounter fewer mistakes in the data collection, and your business will have a more accurate report.
Manual data extraction can be costly; hence, going the electronic way will help you save on your expenses. Most of the tools needed for electronic data extraction are cheap, and you can even get some for free.
Manual extraction of unstructured data can be very tiring for the employees. Since it is a repetitive process, employees might quickly get tired of the process and become unmotivated. Automated data extraction will help boost employees’ motivation, enabling them to focus more on other duties.
Data extraction and web scraping can increase your business productivity. This is because your employees can get more work done since they won’t need to allocate most of their time to extracting data manually.
How to Extract Data from Website
There are three core procedures involved in data extraction, which include the following:
- Identify data changes added to the database, such as new columns or tables
- Select the data parts that need extraction
- Extract data
Data extraction can be scheduled or done on-demand depending on what works efficiently for you. You only have to ensure that you have all the necessary tools you need.
For more information on how to successfully extract data from websites, check this page.
Data Extraction Types
Aside from knowing how to extract data from websites, you must also understand that different data can affect your approach. Data is broadly classified into two – unstructured data and structured data.
This kind of data is not in a structured or standardized database format. There are many machine and human-generated unstructured data, including email, audio, surveillance, and sensor data. Companies will have first to prepare the data and clean tests such as deleting duplicate results, handling missing values, and removing extra symbols to extract the data.
This data format is standardized and is easier to manage. Typically, structured data extraction is done within the system. Data extracted can be grouped into three categories – operational data, customer data, and financial data.
This includes metrics such as competitor prices, purchasing costs, and sales numbers which help companies plan strategically and track their performance.
Many businesses need to extract their customers’ names, purchase histories, and contact information for advertising and marketing purposes.
Organizations collect data related to their routine processes and tasks to understand their outcomes better and enhance their operational efficiency.
Big data holds the potential to unlock your business value as long as you use the appropriate tools. Some software will help you extract data efficiently and quickly from different websites or sources.
For example, suppose your company seeks to evaluate its impact and reputation among its customers. In that case, an effective way to do this will be by analyzing data from various social media, reviews, and sales transactions.
Data has become an essential part of the business world. You can expect the trend to continue and grow, so it is best to understand all there is to know about how to extract data from website. If you want your business to excel, you must know how to mine data and transform it into a structured and workable format.