How Web Scraping Tools Complement Data Scientists
Web scraping is the extraction of unstructured data into machine-readable data. Once data has been collected, it gets exported into a more useful format. Web scraping tools are the most preferred in web scraping because they are less costly. They also work at a faster speed. Apart from web scraping, there are different other ways of extracting data from a website. There is web crawling and writing a custom crawler from scratch. Although there are other services, this is especially python web scraping has been gaining popularity. It adds value to data scientists and makes them more marketable.
The demand for data scientists has been increasing over time. The more companies realize the importance of big data, the more in-demand Data scientists become. Big data enables companies to be more aware of their client’s experiences. It also enables them to predict industry trends and track competitors’ activities.
Data has been growing in volume and variety, which has led to a lot more being demanded of Data scientists. They’re expected to deploy techniques that enable data extraction, mining, and analyzing.
Note that as a Data scientist, you need to use a web scraping proxy when extracting data. You’ll also be required to set your company name as the user agent. This enables the website’s owner to get in touch if your scraping overburdens their server. They can also contact you in case they want you to stop scraping the data on their site.
So why should data scientists use a web scraping proxy?
- It enables them to crawl websites more reliably.
- It allows you to make a request from a specific location or device.
- A proxy allows you to make a higher volume of requests to a specific website
Web Scraping Skills in Data Science
Data scientists must learn python web scraping tools as an addition to their skills. Because it makes them more dynamic in taking up more cross-functional roles. Getting skilled in this area doesn’t replace the analytical skills a data scientist should have. It complements them. So how exactly do skills in web scraping compliment data scientists? Let’s find out.
1. Analytics On-the-Go
Web Scraping enables data scientists to analyze data as soon as it’s available. This is different from batch-style analytics that takes a long time to process data. Real-time analytics produces insights with no delay.
Financial institutions like banks use real-time analytics for credit scoring. It enables them to make quick decisions about whether to discontinue or give an extension.
Real-time analytics is also applicable in the management of customer relationships. It helps to optimize customer satisfaction and enhances business results. It also helps with the detection of fraud at points of sale. It’s useful when handling individual clients in retail outlets.
Based on the examples given, it’s clear that real-time analytics depends on processing large quantities of data. It also allows for quick processing of the data and works in a hassle-free manner.
Without quick accessibility, extraction, and analysis of data, real-time analytics would be impossible. This is where web scraping comes in.
2. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
This process allows machines to interpret the natural languages used by people. Analysis of sentiments is an example of natural language processing. Data scientists use social media comments to process and assess the performance of brands.
For the NLP to happen, machines must have access to large quantities of data. With the growing need for NLP, skills in web scraping continue to be in demand.
3. Predictive Analysis in Web Scraping Tools
In this process, data is analyzed to work out patterns and predict future industry trends. The predictive analysis does not provide an exact forecast of the future. It’s about analyzing future probabilities.
Aside from data science, predictive analysis is also applicable in the business sector. It helps to study and understand the behavior and attitudes of clients. It also studies a product’s behavior, making it easy to work out risks and opportunities.
Web scraping has become more valuable in data science. This is because of its ability to provide large amounts of data that are used in predictive analysis. Meaning that for successful predictive analysis to occur, web scraping must be paramount.
4. Training Machine Learning Models for Creating Web Scraping Tools
ML refers to providing data to machines for them to learn and improve their operations. This basically means that these machines do not need explicit programming.
Websites are the ideal sources of data. Being able to train ML models gives them the ability to perform different tasks. These tasks include classification, clustering, and even attribution.
But, machine learning models are only trained with the availability of quality data. With the extraction of data, it’s made available for machine learning training models.
Since the performance of the ML model depends on the quality of training data, only high-quality sources are crawled.
5. Search Engine Results for SEO Training
Search engine optimization helps increase web traffic, converting visitors to leads. For example, python web scraping enables a quick collection of data. This allows companies to know the keywords optimization and the content getting posted.
All that data provides a rough idea that will help with analysis and drawing inferences. You can then come up with strategies that suit your niche.
Automation is a very important benefit of web scraping. It enables the development of tools that simplify data retrieval.
Before python web scraping, data used to be extracted. But, it was a tedious and time-consuming process. Then, it included copying and pasting text, images, and other forms of data, which was such a pain. Web scraping has made this easier with the extraction of large volumes of data.
The more the internet grows, the more different disciplines become dependent on data. Access to the latest data has become a basic necessity in decision-making processes.
Thus, the application of web scraping can be found in every sector. Meaning that possession of scraping skills gives Data scientists a competitive advantage. It helps to boost their prospects in data science.
In this article, we have discussed how web scraping tools compliment the skills of data scientists. Now you have enough reasons to go and enhance your skills. Make yourself a more marketable data scientist.
Dan has hands-on experience in writing on cybersecurity and digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.