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Web Scraping Meets Data Science: A Use Case in Three Acts

Data science is expanding the world’s ability to detect patterns, forecast the future, and draw profound knowledge from vast data sets as never before. Information is, without a doubt, the lifeblood of every data science project. Web scraping makes sense in fueling data science use cases because the web is now the most valuable source of data that has ever existed.

Web scraping is a technique for extracting vast volumes of data from websites for a range of purposes, including market analysis, machine learning algorithm enrichment, financial data aggregation, customer feedback monitoring, news tracking, and so on.

Browsers show information from a website, and manually copying data from various databases for retrieval in a single location, on the other hand, can be time-consuming and repetitive.

How Does Web Scraping Aid Data Science?

To succeed as a data scientist, you must first get the data to work with. You’ll need to study the necessary sources to obtain the information, and web scraping will extend its helping hand. Web scraping gathers and categorizes all of the required information in one convenient place. It is much more practical and comfortable to do research from a centralized, accessible location rather than looking for information one by one.

Web scraping is an effective method in the toolbox of any data scientist. Site scraping can be used to gather information about texts, for-sale products, user messages, photographs, and just about everything else helpful on the internet.

Now, down to brass tacks. How exactly does it help?

Analytics On-The-Go

For analytics, many data science ventures involve real-time or near-real-time data. Scraping websites with low latency will assist with this. To master your targeted source (the website you’re keeping your eye on), you can revisit the same page over and over again to keep yourself posted on the latest info that requires your scraping wizardry. This provides analytics with data that is almost real-time.

Since most web pages today are subject to regular changes such as structure modifications, format revisions, or even content substitutes, real-time web scraping is an essential feature for any web scraper. Only a real-time web scraping feature will keep a user informed of certain updates as this happens.

Stock rates, everyday weather, real estate listings, and market fluctuations are all indicators of data that is constantly being updated in real life. Real-time web scraping’s aim is to keep track of changes in these data so that the user can view their constant updates.

NLP or Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing allows computers to interpret and process natural languages spoken by humans, such as English, rather than programming languages like Java or Python. Natural language analysis is a large and complex area since it allows us to establish a definitive meaning for words or even sentences in natural languages.

Since the data accessible on the internet is of different types, it proves to be extremely useful in NLP. Web data can be derived and used to create massive text corpora for natural language processing. Natural language analysis can be used in forums, journals, and websites containing customer feedback.

However, owing to its unique existence, the data you’re searching for isn’t often readily accessible. A breakthrough way for companies to communicate with customers is via Facebook Messenger. NLP allows these bots to expand their usability, helping them to communicate with shoppers and have a personalized experience rather than only selling a product or service. Data collection can help with the provision of seemingly live, believable custom messages derived from customer feedback.

Predictive Modeling

Predictive modeling is not about the up and rising Victoria’s Secret models. It is the process of evaluating data and using probabilities to forecast possible outcomes. A variety of predictors, or factors that can affect potential outcomes, are used in any model. Web scraping may be used to obtain the data needed to create valuable predictors from various websites. After the processing is completed, an analytical model is developed.

Predictive analytics is a technique for analyzing data using business intelligence. This is due to the fact that it is used in forecasting and modeling. It is a pattern-prediction approach with several uses in the credit, medical, and insurance industries. Credit appraisal is the most general use of site scraping and predictive analytics integration.

Managers may use a hybrid of site scraping and predictive analytics to increase revenue while investing less money. One of a business’s priorities is to maximize gains while minimizing losses. As a result, site scraping and statistical research are critical for businesses, whether they are online or offline.

Knowledge Shared is Power Multiplied

Data science is expanding the world’s ability to detect patterns, forecast the future, and draw profound knowledge from vast data sets as never before. It is much more practical and comfortable to do research from a centralized, accessible location rather than looking for information one by one. Hence, web scraping.

Now, I’m going to use the data I have on hand to make a few deductions:

  1. You’re either a data scientist or passionate about the subject, otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on this article;
  2. You’re interested in how web scraping can help you, otherwise you wouldn’t have reached the end;
  3. You’ll want to try a web scraping tool yourself, otherwise the shameless plug I’m about to make towards another one of my articles will fall flat.

How about I help you choose a web scraping tool now? I’ve comprised a great list of software products as well as programming languages with which to make your own scraper.

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A new tech publication by Start it up (https://medium.com/swlh).

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Dan Suciu

Dan Suciu

CEO & Co-Founder @Knoxon, Full Stack Developer

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