Web Scrapers – Data Mining

Web Scraper and Data Mining

“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” – Martin Golding

Scraping – Software Application

Today I'd like to explain what exactly a scraper is and the purpose of utilizing one. A scraper is a software application that procedurally gathers data from a website. Just about 90% of the time, a scraper is going to be developed without using any of the websites API. Most likely, the website won't have an API for the specific data the scraper is going to be collecting, hence why this tool would be developed.

Why use a Scraper?

A scraper is used for gathering data. With this data, you can do many things,  here are just four examples:

  1. Store data to an excel file.
  2. Create Graphs and Charts using the data.
  3. Store the data in a database.
  4. Tracking live stats on a web page (Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, etc.)

There are endless amounts of ways for you to benefit in managing/handling the data you get from a website. An example that I can give you is about a client I had who needed a scraper to scrape data from Amazon and Google. My client had an excel sheet with thousands of different links for both Amazon products and Google products. The scraper I developed had to check the prices, get the seller and place that information into a new excel sheet. The program did all of this with just one click!

Is that it?

Nope! Another simple example is, imagine a Scraper that scrapes Twitter or Facebook and looks for specific hashtags, specific keywords in tweets/posts, or watches for something specific in the trending section. Imagine all of the data you can potentially gather. There is a use for this data that other people may be interested in obtaining.

Where can I get a scraper?

There are plenty of online scraping products that you can buy or find for free. Depending on the data you're attempting to gather and the steps required or logic required, those scrapers may not work well. The reason being is, you may need a scraper to follow specific steps to gather the data successfully. You can easily hire a software developer to develop an application that follows the exact steps needed to gather the data at hand.

I am a developer and I have written plenty of different scrapers for my clients! AMR Global Marketing is here for your every need. Do you have books published on various publishing sites and you want to keep track of stats with the click of one button. How about having the data populate into a comparison chart? Want to scrap Twitter for KEYWORDS and DATA that will give you the upper hand. Come on over and let's chat about your goals. We're here to take the work out of work for you. 

Marc Davis

Marc DavisMarc is a computer science major who has been writing code since he was 12 years old. Not only can he automate anything you need, he can build your website, design and code a mobile app for your business and much more. Dedicated to his passion, Marc tackles all his projects with fervor and excitement. Contact Marc here.

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