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Climbing the corporate ladder is a dream shared by millions, and competition can be fierce at every rung. Aptitude and a solid work ethic are great qualities, but you’ll need more to set yourself apart. Working smarter instead of harder is the way, and web scraping may be the key to propelling your career forward!
This article will introduce you to the practice of web scraping and its advantages. What is it, and how exactly can it further your career? Read on to find out!
What Is Web Scraping & How Does It Work?
Web scraping is the automated process of collecting, storing, and making sense of data available online. It’s far more efficient than manually going through a website and trying to gather the information presented there. Scraping can do in no time what several data entry professionals could take weeks to accomplish.
It starts by choosing the website(s) that store the data you’re interested in and defining what kind of data you need. This can be anything from financial reports through price listings to comments on social media. The scraper then parses the data on the page, using your criteria as a guideline.
You may store all gathered data locally. Scrapers usually collate it inside Excel spreadsheets, so it’s easier to perform data analysis or specific searches.
How Does This Help Your Career?
Knowledge is power, and web scraping simplifies access to it. Here are just a few examples of how this technology can help streamline your workflow and make you a more valuable asset.
Efficiency is among web scraping’s most universal applications. It makes repetitive, low-skill tasks manageable, allowing you to focus on aspects of your work that bring more growth. For example, lead generation is a necessary but tedious step when you’re building a database of prospective clients.
By scraping the appropriate website(s), you can get comprehensive contact information that would take a human age to put together. Let’s say your company specializes in custom-made dental equipment. Scraping lets you build a database of dentists either in your local area or based on criteria like patient count or ratings.
Instead of manually trawling medical registers or LinkedIn, you can have the scraper do the work and concentrate on creating a stunning marketing campaign that will convert more of these leads into clients.
Uncovering new insights
Web scraping can collect vast quantities of data from different places. Once you’ve got a big dataset to work with, patterns start to emerge you might not catch otherwise.
Your company has launched a product, and the higher-ups want to gauge not just the sales, but customer satisfaction too. A scraper will efficiently go through reviews and pertinent social media posts. It can sort the data by rating or tone. The latter lets you conduct sentiment analysis and get a feel of what thousands of customers are saying.
Interpreting this data offers insights into your customer base. It can identify the product’s particular strengths or flaws many users want the company to address. Catching these in time can minimize the damage and even win favor by fixing issues straight away or in future versions.
Analyzing scraped review data can also uncover artificial reviews someone might have generated to hurt the company. Identifying and taking steps to delete them will go a long way in protecting the company’s reputation.
Companies sink or swim by basing their strategies on accurate predictions. Web scraping provides the data sets you need to base your predictions in reality. When used properly, this is easily web scraping’s career-defining feature and an advantage no one human can compete against.
Forming a pricing strategy is the most universal example of this. Scraping a competitor’s website or an online retailer that sells their products with ecommerce scraper gives you an overview of their current and long-term pricing. On the one hand, this lets you set a price that undercuts the competition while keeping your products and services profitable.
On the other, scraping long-term pricing data serves as a powerful predictor. It can help identify upcoming sales, product release cycles, and other opportunities your company can seize to gain an edge.
Investment is an area where not backing decisions up with data can have disastrous consequences. Web scraping can help you construct profiles of companies with investment potential. These can contain info like a company’s market share and past performance. Moreover, scraping data on the market such a company is in will highlight whether the market as a whole has growth potential.
Even with a handful of examples like these, it’s easy to see how web scraping can profoundly impact your career prospects. Use it to make yourself indispensable, and reaching new heights will become only a matter of time.
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