Everyone’s interested in learning how to extract data from a website. However, to do that, one must be informed about the basic principles of data extraction and some of the latest developments in the field.
In this post, you can learn everything you need to know about data extraction and how this process can assist your company. We covered all the essentials, from explaining data extraction to examining some of the historical, recent, and beneficial developments.
Let’s get straight into it.
What is data extraction?
it is a robust process of collecting and retrieving various types of data from different sources around the internet. Since no two internet sources are the same, plenty of data available on these sites is unstructured or poorly organized.
That’s exactly what data extraction is for. It consolidates, processes, and refines available data. Once that’s done, data can be stored on-site or cloud-based. You can find more information about the data extraction process in a blog post prepared by Oxylabs.
In fact, it is the first step in ELT (extract, load, transform) and ETL (extract, transform, load) processes, which are part of a bigger and more complex data integration strategy.
Naturally, certain types of data are extracted more often than others. Some of them include:
- Customer data: This type of data allows companies and organizations to better understand their customer base. Customer data includes names, email addresses, phone numbers, web searches, social media activity, purchase histories, and other helpful pieces of data.
- Financial data: This data helps companies improve their efficiency and strategically plan their moves. Financial data includes sales numbers, operating margins, purchasing costs, competitors’ prices, etc.
- Performance data: This type of data is related to specific operations or tasks within an organization. Performance data includes process, task, and use performance data.
Major historical developments in data extraction
The origins of data extraction are pretty simple and basic. It all started in 1989 when the World Wide Web was created. That was the foundation for data extraction tools to work since the World Wide Web allowed people to access designated URLs with various types of content, such as text, images, audio files, videos, etc.
With JumpStation becoming the first search engine designed for crawling purposes, internet users got the opportunity to access millions of indexed web pages, which turned the internet into an open-sourced space for data in all kinds of formats.
In 2004, data extraction rose to another level. BeautifulSoup, an HTML parser, was launched, and it enabled internet users to access a digital library of frequently used algorithms. The easily accessible and searchable content lets people find and extract the data they need quickly.
That’s when data extraction tools were developed, and the data extraction process we know of today came to be.
Major recent developments in data extraction
Although the fundamental principle of data extraction remains the same to this day, there have been some recent developments in the technologies and processes related to it.
For instance, the emergence of cloud computing and cloud storage greatly impacted how companies manage their digital data. Cloud technology allows its users to access data wherever they are and even process it in real-time. All that is possible without maintaining personal servers and data infrastructure.
Besides increased efficiency and adaptability, cloud computing enabled companies to experience improvements in data processing, storage, and security.
Another significant development that transformed data extraction recently is the IoT (Internet of Things). The IoT started as a handy way to connect smartphones to computers, tablets, and laptops, but its impact today is much greater.
Namely, wearable gadgets, household appliances, medical devices, and even automobiles are part of the data extraction process. The IoT technology ensures the whole process of relocating the data is streamlined.
Benefits of the newest data extraction developments
The latest data extraction developments equip companies and organizations with a plethora of benefits, including the following.
With data extraction, companies can collect data from various sources and store it in their own databases. That means no outside sources, applications, and software tools have control over the company’s data.
Working with various forms of data can quickly become overwhelming, especially for companies that grow and experience an increased amount of workflow. Fortunately, it unifies the collected data by placing it in a centralized system.
Data integrity can easily be damaged if the manual processes are filled with errors. Data extraction automates most of the processes related to entering and editing large volumes of data, so there’s less room for mistakes.
Sharing specific files and data with someone outside of the organization is much simpler when using it. It’s pretty easy to provide limited data access but share the content in a usable format.
After going over the information provided in this article, you’re now fully equipped to know how to extract data from a website. You have to choose a reliable and quality data extraction tool, as transforming your processes and introducing it practices can help your business experience numerous benefits.