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Friday, 30 December 2016

Data Mining - Retrieving Information From Data

Data Mining - Retrieving Information From Data

Data mining definition is the process of retrieving information from data. It has become very important now days because data that is processed is usually kept for future reference and mainly for security purposes in a company. Data transforms is processed into information and it is mostly used in different ways depending on what information one is extracting and from where the person is extracting the information.

It is commonly used in marketing, scientific information and research work, fraud detection and surveillance and many more and most of this work is done using a computer. This definition can come in different terms data snooping, data fishing and data dredging all this refer to data mining but it depends in which department one is. One must know data mining definition so that he can be in a position to make data.

The method of data mining has been there for so many centuries and it is used up to date. There were early methods which were used to identify data mining there are mainly two: regression analysis and bayes theorem. These methods are never used now days because a lot of people have advanced and technology has really changed the entire system.

With the coming up or with the introduction of computers and technology, it becomes very fast and easy to save information. Computers have made work easier and one can be able to expand more knowledge about data crawling and learn on how data is stored and processed through computer science.

Computer science is a course that sharpens one skill and expands more about data crawling and the definition of what data mining means. By studying computer science one can be in a position to know: clustering, support vector machines and decision trees there are some of the units that are found on computer science.

It's all about all this and this knowledge must be applied here. Government institutions, small scale business and supermarkets use data.

The main reason most companies use data mining is because data assist in the collection of information and observations that a company goes through in their daily activity. Such information is very vital in any companies profile and needs to be checked and updated for future reference just in case something happens.

Businesses which use data crawling focus mainly on return of investments, and they are able to know whether they are making a profit or a loss within a very short period. If the company or the business is making a profit they can be in a position to give customers an offer on the product in which they are selling so that the business can be a position to make more profit in an organization, this is very vital in human resource departments it helps in identifying the character traits of a person in terms of job performance.

Most people who use this method believe that is ethically neutral. The way it is being used nowadays raises a lot of questions about security and privacy of its members. Data mining needs good data preparation which can be in a position to uncover different types of information especially those that require privacy.

A very common way in this occurs is through data aggregation.

Data aggregation is when information is retrieved from different sources and is usually put together so that one can be in a position to be analyze one by one and this helps information to be very secure. So if one is collecting data it is vital for one to know the following:

    How will one use the data that he is collecting?
    Who will mine the data and use the data.
    Is the data very secure when am out can someone come and access it.
    How can one update the data when information is needed
    If the computer crashes do I have any backup somewhere.

It is important for one to be very careful with documents which deal with company's personal information so that information cannot easily be manipulated.

source : http://ezinearticles.com/?Data-Mining---Retrieving-Information-From-Data&id=5054887

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Data Scrapping

Data Scrapping

People who are involved in business activities might have came across a term Data Scrapping. It is a process in which data or information can be extracted from the Portable Document Format file. They are easy to use tools that can automatically arrange the data that are found in different format in the internet. These advanced tools can collect useful information's according to the need of the user. What the user needs to do is simply enter the key words or phrases and the tool will extract all the related information available from the Portable Document Format file. It is widely used to take information's from the no editable format.

The main advantage of Portable Document Format files are they protect the originality of the document when you convert the data from Word to PDF. The size of the file is reduced by compression algorithems when the file are heavier due to the graphics or the images in the content. A Portable Document Format is independent of any software or hardware for installation. It allows encryption of files which enhances the security of your contents.

Although the Portable Document Format files have many advantages,it too have many other challenges. For example, you want to access a data that you found on the internet and the author encrypted the file preventing you from printing the file, you can easily do the scrapping process. These functions are easily available on the internet and the user can choose according to their needs. Using these programs you can extract the data that u need.

Source : http://ezinearticles.com/?Data-Scrapping&id=4951020

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Web Data Extraction Services

Web Data Extraction Services

Web Data Extraction from Dynamic Pages includes some of the services that may be acquired through outsourcing. It is possible to siphon information from proven websites through the use of Data Scrapping software. The information is applicable in many areas in business. It is possible to get such solutions as data collection, screen scrapping, email extractor and Web Data Mining services among others from companies providing websites such as Scrappingexpert.com.

Data mining is common as far as outsourcing business is concerned. Many companies are outsource data mining services and companies dealing with these services can earn a lot of money, especially in the growing business regarding outsourcing and general internet business. With web data extraction, you will pull data in a structured organized format. The source of the information will even be from an unstructured or semi-structured source.

In addition, it is possible to pull data which has originally been presented in a variety of formats including PDF, HTML, and test among others. The web data extraction service therefore, provides a diversity regarding the source of information. Large scale organizations have used data extraction services where they get large amounts of data on a daily basis. It is possible for you to get high accuracy of information in an efficient manner and it is also affordable.

Web data extraction services are important when it comes to collection of data and web-based information on the internet. Data collection services are very important as far as consumer research is concerned. Research is turning out to be a very vital thing among companies today. There is need for companies to adopt various strategies that will lead to fast means of data extraction, efficient extraction of data, as well as use of organized formats and flexibility.

In addition, people will prefer software that provides flexibility as far as application is concerned. In addition, there is software that can be customized according to the needs of customers, and these will play an important role in fulfilling diverse customer needs. Companies selling the particular software therefore, need to provide such features that provide excellent customer experience.

It is possible for companies to extract emails and other communications from certain sources as far as they are valid email messages. This will be done without incurring any duplicates. You will extract emails and messages from a variety of formats for the web pages, including HTML files, text files and other formats. It is possible to carry these services in a fast reliable and in an optimal output and hence, the software providing such capability is in high demand. It can help businesses and companies quickly search contacts for the people to be sent email messages.

It is also possible to use software to sort large amount of data and extract information, in an activity termed as data mining. This way, the company will realize reduced costs and saving of time and increasing return on investment. In this practice, the company will carry out Meta data extraction, scanning data, and others as well.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Web-Data-Extraction-Services&id=4733722

Friday, 9 December 2016

Data Mining vs Screen-Scraping

Data Mining vs Screen-Scraping

Data mining isn't screen-scraping. I know that some people in the room may disagree with that statement, but they're actually two almost completely different concepts.

In a nutshell, you might state it this way: screen-scraping allows you to get information, where data mining allows you to analyze information. That's a pretty big simplification, so I'll elaborate a bit.

The term "screen-scraping" comes from the old mainframe terminal days where people worked on computers with green and black screens containing only text. Screen-scraping was used to extract characters from the screens so that they could be analyzed. Fast-forwarding to the web world of today, screen-scraping now most commonly refers to extracting information from web sites. That is, computer programs can "crawl" or "spider" through web sites, pulling out data. People often do this to build things like comparison shopping engines, archive web pages, or simply download text to a spreadsheet so that it can be filtered and analyzed.

Data mining, on the other hand, is defined by Wikipedia as the "practice of automatically searching large stores of data for patterns." In other words, you already have the data, and you're now analyzing it to learn useful things about it. Data mining often involves lots of complex algorithms based on statistical methods. It has nothing to do with how you got the data in the first place. In data mining you only care about analyzing what's already there.

The difficulty is that people who don't know the term "screen-scraping" will try Googling for anything that resembles it. We include a number of these terms on our web site to help such folks; for example, we created pages entitled Text Data Mining, Automated Data Collection, Web Site Data Extraction, and even Web Site Ripper (I suppose "scraping" is sort of like "ripping"). So it presents a bit of a problem-we don't necessarily want to perpetuate a misconception (i.e., screen-scraping = data mining), but we also have to use terminology that people will actually use.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Data-Mining-vs-Screen-Scraping&id=146813

Monday, 5 December 2016

Data Discovery vs. Data Extraction

Data Discovery vs. Data Extraction

Looking at screen-scraping at a simplified level, there are two primary stages involved: data discovery and data extraction. Data discovery deals with navigating a web site to arrive at the pages containing the data you want, and data extraction deals with actually pulling that data off of those pages. Generally when people think of screen-scraping they focus on the data extraction portion of the process, but my experience has been that data discovery is often the more difficult of the two.

The data discovery step in screen-scraping might be as simple as requesting a single URL. For example, you might just need to go to the home page of a site and extract out the latest news headlines. On the other side of the spectrum, data discovery may involve logging in to a web site, traversing a series of pages in order to get needed cookies, submitting a POST request on a search form, traversing through search results pages, and finally following all of the "details" links within the search results pages to get to the data you're actually after. In cases of the former a simple Perl script would often work just fine. For anything much more complex than that, though, a commercial screen-scraping tool can be an incredible time-saver. Especially for sites that require logging in, writing code to handle screen-scraping can be a nightmare when it comes to dealing with cookies and such.

In the data extraction phase you've already arrived at the page containing the data you're interested in, and you now need to pull it out of the HTML. Traditionally this has typically involved creating a series of regular expressions that match the pieces of the page you want (e.g., URL's and link titles). Regular expressions can be a bit complex to deal with, so most screen-scraping applications will hide these details from you, even though they may use regular expressions behind the scenes.

As an addendum, I should probably mention a third phase that is often ignored, and that is, what do you do with the data once you've extracted it? Common examples include writing the data to a CSV or XML file, or saving it to a database. In the case of a live web site you might even scrape the information and display it in the user's web browser in real-time. When shopping around for a screen-scraping tool you should make sure that it gives you the flexibility you need to work with the data once it's been extracted.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Data-Discovery-vs.-Data-Extraction&id=165396

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

An Easy Way For Data Extraction

An Easy Way For Data Extraction

There are so many data scraping tools are available in internet. With these tools you can you download large amount of data without any stress. From the past decade, the internet revolution has made the entire world as an information center. You can obtain any type of information from the internet. However, if you want any particular information on one task, you need search more websites. If you are interested in download all the information from the websites, you need to copy the information and pate in your documents. It seems a little bit hectic work for everyone. With these scraping tools, you can save your time, money and it reduces manual work.

The Web data extraction tool will extract the data from the HTML pages of the different websites and compares the data. Every day, there are so many websites are hosting in internet. It is not possible to see all the websites in a single day. With these data mining tool, you are able to view all the web pages in internet. If you are using a wide range of applications, these scraping tools are very much useful to you.

The data extraction software tool is used to compare the structured data in internet. There are so many search engines in internet will help you to find a website on a particular issue. The data in different sites is appears in different styles. This scraping expert will help you to compare the date in different site and structures the data for records.

And the web crawler software tool is used to index the web pages in the internet; it will move the data from internet to your hard disk. With this work, you can browse the internet much faster when connected. And the important use of this tool is if you are trying to download the data from internet in off peak hours. It will take a lot of time to download. However, with this tool you can download any data from internet at fast rate.There is another tool for business person is called email extractor. With this toll, you can easily target the customers email addresses. You can send advertisement for your product to the targeted customers at any time. This the best tool to find the database of the customers.

However, there are some more scraping tolls are available in internet. And also some of esteemed websites are providing the information about these tools. You download these tools by paying a nominal amount.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?An-Easy-Way-For-Data-Extraction&id=3517104

Saturday, 26 November 2016

How Xpath Plays Vital Role In Web Scraping Part 2

How Xpath Plays Vital Role In Web Scraping Part 2

Here is a piece of content on  Xpaths which is the follow up of How Xpath Plays Vital Role In Web Scraping

Let’s dive into a real-world example of scraping amazon website for getting information about deals of the day. Deals of the day in amazon can be found at this URL. So navigate to the amazon (deals of the day) in Firefox and find the XPath selectors. Right click on the deal you like and select “Inspect Element with Firebug”:

If you observe the image below keenly, there you can find the source of the image(deal) and the name of the deal in src, alt attribute’s respectively.

So now let’s write a generic XPath which gathers the name and image source of the product(deal).

  //img[@role=”img”]/@src  ## for image source
  //img[@role=”img”]/@alt   ## for product name

In this post, I’ll show you some tips we found valuable when using XPath in the trenches.

If you have an interest in Python and web scraping, you may have already played with the nice requests library to get the content of pages from the Web. Maybe you have toyed around using Scrapy selector or lxml to make the content extraction easier. Well, now I’m going to show you some tips I found valuable when using XPath in the trenches and we are going to use both lxml and Scrapy selector for HTML parsing.

Avoid using expressions which contains(.//text(), ‘search text’) in your XPath conditions. Use contains(., ‘search text’) instead.

Here is why: the expression .//text() yields a collection of text elements — a node-set(collection of nodes).and when a node-set is converted to a string, which happens when it is passed as argument to a string function like contains() or starts-with(), results in the text for the first element only.

from scrapy import Selector
html_code = “””<a href=”#”>Click here to go to the <strong>Next Page</strong></a>”””
sel = Selector(text=html_code)
xp = lambda x: sel.xpath(x).extract()           # Let’s type this only once
print xp(‘//a//text()’)                                       # Take a peek at the node-set
[u’Click here to go to the ‘, u’Next Page’]   # output of above command
print xp(‘string(//a//text())’)                           # convert it to a string
  [u’Click here to go to the ‘]                           # output of the above command

Let’s do the above one by using lxml then you can implement XPath by both lxml or Scrapy selector as XPath expression is same for both methods.

lxml code:

from lxml import html
html_code = “””<a href=”#”>Click here to go to the <strong>Next Page</strong></a>””” # Parse the text into a tree
parsed_body = html.fromstring(html_code)  # Perform xpaths on the tree
print parsed_body(‘//a//text()’)                      # take a peek at the node-set
[u’Click here to go to the ‘, u’Next Page’]   # output
print parsed_body(‘string(//a//text())’)              # convert it to a string
[u’Click here to go to the ‘]                    # output

A node converted to a string, however, puts together the text of itself plus of all its descendants:

>>> xp(‘//a[1]’)  # selects the first a node
[u'<a href=”#”>Click here to go to the <strong>Next Page</strong></a>’]

>>> xp(‘string(//a[1])’)  # converts it to string
[u’Click here to go to the Next Page’]

Beware of the difference between //node[1] and (//node)[1]//node[1] selects all the nodes occurring first under their respective parents and (//node)[1] selects all the nodes in the document, and then gets only the first of them.

from scrapy import Selector

html_code = “””<ul class=”list”>

<ul class=”list”>

sel = Selector(text=html_code)
xp = lambda x: sel.xpath(x).extract()

xp(“//li[1]”) # get all first LI elements under whatever it is its parent

[u'<li>1</li>’, u'<li>4</li>’]

xp(“(//li)[1]”) # get the first LI element in the whole document


xp(“//ul/li[1]”)  # get all first LI elements under an UL parent

[u'<li>1</li>’, u'<li>4</li>’]

xp(“(//ul/li)[1]”) # get the first LI element under an UL parent in the document



//a[starts-with(@href, ‘#’)][1] gets a collection of the local anchors that occur first under their respective parents and (//a[starts-with(@href, ‘#’)])[1] gets the first local anchor in the document.

When selecting by class, be as specific as necessary.

If you want to select elements by a CSS class, the XPath way to do the same job is the rather verbose:

*[contains(concat(‘ ‘, normalize-space(@class), ‘ ‘), ‘ someclass ‘)]

Let’s cook up some examples:

>>> sel = Selector(text='<p class=”content-author”>Someone</p><p class=”content text-wrap”>Some content</p>’)

>>> xp = lambda x: sel.xpath(x).extract()

BAD: because there are multiple classes in the attribute

>>> xp(“//*[@class=’content’]”)


BAD: gets more content than we need

 >>> xp(“//*[contains(@class,’content’)]”)

     [u'<p class=”content-author”>Someone</p>’,
     u'<p class=”content text-wrap”>Some content</p>’]


>>> xp(“//*[contains(concat(‘ ‘, normalize-space(@class), ‘ ‘), ‘ content ‘)]”)
[u'<p class=”content text-wrap”>Some content</p>’]

And many times, you can just use a CSS selector instead, and even combine the two of them if needed:


>>> sel.css(“.content”).extract()
[u'<p class=”content text-wrap”>Some content</p>’]

>>> sel.css(‘.content’).xpath(‘@class’).extract()
[u’content text-wrap’]

Learn to use all the different axes.

It is handy to know how to use the axes, you can follow through these examples.

In particular, you should note that following and following-sibling are not the same thing, this is a common source of confusion. The same goes for preceding and preceding-sibling, and also ancestor and parent.

Useful trick to get text content

Here is another XPath trick that you may use to get the interesting text contents: 

//*[not(self::script or self::style)]/text()[normalize-space(.)]

This excludes the content from the script and style tags and also skip whitespace-only text nodes.

Tools & Libraries Used:

Firefox inspect element with firebug
Scrapy : 1.1.1
Python : 2.7.12
Requests : 2.11.0

 Have questions? Comment below. Please share if you found this helpful.

Source: http://blog.datahut.co/how-xpath-plays-vital-role-in-web-scraping-part-2/

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Data Mining Process - Why Outsource Data Mining Service?

Data Mining Process - Why Outsource Data Mining Service?

Overview of Data Mining and Process:

Data mining is one of the unique techniques for investigating information to extract certain data patterns and decide to outcome of existing requirements. Data mining is widely use in client research, services analysis, market research and so on. It is totally based on mathematical algorithm and analytical skills to drive the desired results from the huge database collection.

Information mining is mostly used by financial analyzer, business and professional organization and also there are many growing area of business that are get maximum advantages of data extract with use of data warehouses in their small to large level of businesses.

Most of functionalities which are used in information collecting process define as under:

* Retrieving Data

* Analyzing Data

* Extracting Data

* Transforming Data

* Loading Data

* Managing Databases

Most of small, medium and large levels of businesses are collect huge amount of data or information for analysis and research to develop business. Such kind of large amount will help and makes it much important whenever information or data required.

Why Outsource Data Online Mining Service?

Outsourcing advantages of data mining services:
o Almost save 60% operating cost
o High quality analysis processes ensuring accuracy levels of almost 99.98%
o Guaranteed risk free outsourcing experience ensured by inflexible information security policies and practices
o Get your project done within a quick turnaround time
o You can measure highly skilled and expertise by taking benefits of Free Trial Program.
o Get the gathered information presented in a simple and easy to access format

Thus, data or information mining is very important part of the web research services and it is most useful process. By outsource data extraction and mining service; you can concentrate on your co relative business and growing fast as you desire.

Outsourcing web research is trusted and well known Internet Market research organization having years of experience in BPO (business process outsourcing) field.

If you want to more information about data mining services and related web research services, then contact us.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Data-Mining-Process---Why-Outsource-Data-Mining-Service?&id=3789102

Monday, 24 October 2016

How Web Scraping Affects your Revenue Growth

How Web Scraping Affects your Revenue Growth

Web scraping is an indispensable resource when it comes to gaining an edge in the competition with the help of business intelligence. As more and more data gets created on the world wide web, the complexity of extracting it intensifies. Web scraping is a technology that demands an extensive tech stack, high end resources and technically skilled labour. Given this resource hungry nature, many businesses prefer outsourcing it to doing the scraping in-house. Here is a brief walk-through of web scraping so that you can get a grip on the whole process and understand how it could affect your revenue growth as a business.

Business intelligence

The competition among online businesses is at its peak. This has more to do with the ready availability of insightful data. When data acquisition at this scale wasn’t possible in the past, businesses made hit-or-miss decisions upon instincts. Now that every activity can be recorded, extracted as data and analysed to arrive at the best business decisions, companies are making the most of it to boost their revenue. This includes monitoring the activity of competitors on social media, price intelligence, sentiment analysis, gathering data for market research and much more. The use cases of web scraping in business is almost infinite. Business intelligence is extremely helpful for the survival of companies in a market that fluctuates often. Implementing a business intelligence strategy powered by web scraping can definitely give a boost to your revenue growth.
Cost centres involved in in-house Web Scraping

Web scraping, despite being a robust solution for extracting data from the web, is not going to be an easy path if your company is not technically rich already. It involves setting up resources like a tech stack and servers that can run the web crawler by a technically skilled team. Following are the primary cost centres involved in the web scraping process.

1. High end servers

Web scraping is a resource intensive process. Considering the importance of uptime here, the crawlers cannot be run on average performance machines. To have the optimum uptime and avoid crashes, the crawler has to be run on high performing servers located in different parts of the world. The quality of servers is crucial to the consistency of the process. Not to mention, these high end servers makeup for a significant amount of the cost involved in web scraping.

2. Technically skilled labour

Scanning through the source code to identify appropriate tags that hold the required data points and creating a program that can automatically fetch these data points from similar pages’ at large scale requires deep programming skills. It goes without saying that employing skilled people would incur cost that could take a hit on your revenue. Ideally, you will need a team of at least 10 to run a web scraping setup in-house.       

3. An extensive tech stack

Although most of the software being used for web scraping are open source, you will find yourself investing in paid software to make certain things easier or faster. Dealing with open source software might not be as user friendly as the paid ones. In any case, having a tech stack with a lot of options is a necessary aspect of web scraping that would incur additional cost.   

4. Maintenance

Building and running the web scraping setup is only half of the story. Since websites undergo changes often, there is a possibility of the crawler setup breaking from time to time. To avoid or solve this at the earliest, a monitoring system that involves both machines and humans is necessary. Monitoring and maintenance contribute to a considerable cost in the web scraping process.
Data as a service

If data for business is your requirement, a better way to acquire it would be to depend on a company that can deliver it via the data as a service route. Web scraping companies have already set up high-end resources required to run the web crawlers that you can utilize to avail web scraping at a much lower cost than what you would incur by doing it on your own. With this, you can also save yourself from the complications and maintenance headache associated with web scraping. Moreover, with a web scraping service, you can enjoy a much higher return on investment owing to the lowered cost of data acquisition. You can use our ROI calculator to compare between the cost of going with an in-house web scraping setup and a hosted solution.

Source: https://www.promptcloud.com/blog/web-scraping-affects-revenue-growth

Thursday, 13 October 2016

How to use Web Content Extractor(WCE) as Email Scraper?

How to use Web Content Extractor(WCE) as Email Scraper?

Web Content Extractor is a great web scraping software developed by Newprosoft Team. The software has easy to use project wizard to create a scraping configuration and scrape data from websites.

One day I came to see the Visual Email Extractor which is also product of Newprosoft and similar to Web Content Extractor but it’s primary use is to scrape email addresses by crawling websites you feed to the scraper. I had noticed that with the little modification in Web Content Extractor project configuration you can use it same as Visual Email Extractor to extract email addresses.

In this post I will show you what configuration makes the Web Content Extractor to extract email addresses. I still recommend Visual Email Extractor as it has lot more features then extracting email using WCE.

Here are the configuration that makes WCE to Extract Emails.

Step 1 : Open Web Content Extractor and Create New Project and Click on Next.

Step 2:  Under Crawling Rules -> Advanced Rules Tab do the following settings

Crawling Level 1 Settings

Follow Links if link text equals:
*contact*; *feedback*; *support*; *about*

for 'Follow Links if link text equals' text box enter following values:
contact; feedback; support; about

for 'Do not Follow links if URL contains' text box enter following values:

google.; yahoo.; bing; msn.; altavista.; myspace.com; youtube.com; googleusercontent.com; =http; .jpg; .gif; .png; .bmp; .exe; .zip; .pdf;

Set 'Maximum Crawling Deapth' to 2

set 'Crawling Order' to Deapth First Crawling

Tick mark below below check boxes:

->Follow all internal links

  Crawling Level 2  Settings

set 'Follow links if link text equals' to below value

*contact*; *feedback*; *support*; *about*

set 'Follow links if url contains' text box to below value

contact; feedback; support; about

set 'DO NOT follow links if url contains' text box to below value


Step 3 After doing above settings now click on Next  -> in Extraction Pattern window -> Click on Define ->  in Web Page Address (URL) give any URL where email is given.  and click on  + sign right of Date Fields to define scraping pattern.

Now inside HTML Structure selects HTML check box or Body check box which means for each page it will take whole page content to parse data.

Now last settings to extract emails from page using regular expression based email extraction function.  Open Predefined Script window and select ‘Extract_Email_Addresses‘ and click on OK. and if you have used page that contains email then in Script Result’ you will be able to see the harvested email.

Hope this will help you to use your Web Content Extractor as a Email Scraper.. Share your view in comment.

Source: http://webdata-scraping.com/use-web-content-extractor-as-email-scraper/

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Powerful Web Scraping Software – Content Grabber Review

Powerful Web Scraping Software – Content Grabber Review

There are many web scraping software and cloud based web scraping services available in the market for extracting data from the websites. They vary widely in cost and features. In this article, I am going to introduce one such advanced web scraping tool “Content Grabber”, which is widely used and the best web scraping software in the market.

Content Grabber is used for web extraction, web scraping and web automation. It can extract content from complex websites and export it as structured data in a variety of formats like Excel Spreadsheets, XML, CSV and databases. Content Grabber can also extract data from highly dynamic websites. It can extract from AJAX-enabled websites, submit forms repeatedly to cover all possible input values, and manage website logins.

Content Grabber is designed to be reliable, scalable and customizable. It is specifically designed for users with a critical reliance on web scraping and web data extraction. It also enables you to make standalone web scraping agents which you can market and sell as your own royalty free web scraping software.

Applications of Content Grabber:

The following are the few applications of Content Grabber:

  •     Data aggregation – for example news aggregation.
  •     Competitive pricing and monitoring e.g. monitor dealers for price compliance.
  •     Financial and Market Research e.g. Make proactive buying and selling decisions by continuously receiving corporate operational data.
  •     Content Integration i.e. integration of data from various sources at one place.
  •     Business Directory Scraping – for example: yellow pages scraping, yelp scraping, superpages scraping etc.
  •     Extracting company data from yellow pages for scraping common data fields like Business Name, Address, Telephone, Fax, Email, Website and Category of Business.
  •     Extracting eBay auction data like: eBay Product Name, Store Information, Buy it Now prices, Product Price, List Price, Seller Price and many more.
  •     Extracting Amazon product data: Information such as Product title, cost, description, details, availability, shipping info, ASIN, rating, rank, etc can be extracted.

Content Grabber Features:

The following section highlights some of the key features of Content Grabber:

1. Point and Click Interface

The Content Grabber editor has an easy to use point and click interface that provides easy point and click configuration. One simply needs to click on web elements to configure website navigation and content capture.

2. Easy to Use

The Content Grabber point and click interface is so simple to use that it can easily be used by beginners and non-programmers. There is certain built in facilities that automatically detect and configure all commands. It will automatically create a list of links, lists of content, manage pagination, handle web pages, download or upload files and capture any action you perform on a web page. You can also manually configure the agent commands, so Content Grabber gives you both simplicity and control.

3. Reliable and Scalable

Content Grabber’s powerful features like testing and debugging, solid error handling and error recovery, allows agent to run in the most difficult scenarios. It easily handles and scrapes dynamic websites built with JavaScript and AJAX. Content Grabber’s Intelligent agents don’t break with most site structure changes. These features enable us to build reliable web scraping agents. There are various configurations and performance tuning options that makes Content Grabber scalable. You can build as many web scraping agents as you want with Content Grabber.

4. High Performance

Multi-threading is used to increase the performance in Content Grabber. Content Grabber uses optimized web browsers. It uses static browsers for static web pages and dynamic browsers for dynamic web pages. It has an ultra-fast HTML5 parser for ultra-fast web scraping. One can use many web browsers concurrently to boost performance.

5. Debugging, Logging and Error Handling

Content Grabber has robust support for debugging, error handling and logging. Using a debugger, you can test and debug the web scraping agents which helps you to build reliable and error free web scraping solutions because most of the issues are addressed at design time. Content Grabber allows agent logging with three detail levels: Log URLs, Log raw HTML, Log to database or file. Logs can be useful to identify problems that occurred during execution of a web scraping agent. Content Grabber supports automatic error handling and custom error handling through scripting. Error status reports can also be mailed to administrators.

6. Scripting

Content Grabber comes with a built in script editor with IntelliSense that one can use in case of some unusual requirements or to fine tune some process. Scripting can be used to control agent behaviour, content transformation, customize data export and delivery and to generate data inputs for agent.

7. Unlimited Web Scraping Agents

Content Grabber allows building an unlimited number of Self-Contained Web Scraping Agents. Self-Contained agents are a standalone executable that can be run independently, branded as your own and distributed royalty free. Content Grabber provides an easy to use and effective GUI to manage all the agents. One can view status and logs of all the agents or run and schedule the agents in one centralized location.

8. Automation

Require data on a schedule? Weekly? Everyday? Each hour? Content Grabber allows automating and publishing extracted data. Configure Content Grabber by telling what data you want once, and then schedule it to run automatically.

And much more

There are too many features that Content Grabber provides, but here are a few more that may be useful and interest you.

  •     Schedule agents
  •     Manage proxies
  •     Custom notification criteria and messages
  •     Email notifications
  •     Handle websites logins
  •     Capture Screenshots of web elements or entire web page or save as PDF.
  •     Capture hidden content on web page.
  •     Crawl entire website
  •     Input data from almost any data source.
  •     Auto scroll to load dynamic data
  •     Handle complex JAVASCRIPT and AJAX actions
  •     XPATH support
  •     Convert Images to Text
  •     CAPTCHA handling
  •     Extract data from non-HTML documents like PDF and Word Documents
  •     Multi-threading and multiple web browsers
  •     Run agent from command line.

The above features come with the Professional edition license. Content Grabber’s Premium edition license is available with the following extra features:

1. Visual Studio 2013 integration

One can integrate Content Grabber to Visual Studio and take advantages of extra powerful script editing, debugging, and unit testing.

2. Remove Content Grabber branding

One can remove Content Grabber branding from the Content Grabber agents and distribute the executable.

3. Custom Design Templates

One can customize the Content Grabber agent user interface design with custom HTML templates – e.g. add your own company branding.

4. Royalty free distribution

One can distribute the Content Grabber agent to anybody without paying royalty fees and can run agents from the command line anywhere.

5. Programming Interface

Programming interfaces like Desktop API, Web API and windows service for building and editing agents.

6. Custom Web Scraping Application Development:

Content Grabber provides API and Visual Studio Integration which developer can use to build custom web scraping applications. It provides full control of the user interface and export functionality. One can develop both Desktop as well as Web based custom web scraping applications using the Content Grabber programming interface. It is a great tool and provides opportunity for developers to build general web scraping applications and sell those to generate revenue.

Are you looking for web scraping services? Do you need any assistance related to Content Grabber? We can probably help you to achieve your scraping-based project goals. We would be more than happy to hear from you.

Source: http://webdata-scraping.com/powerful-web-scraping-software-content-grabber/

Sunday, 11 September 2016

How to Use Microsoft Excel as a Web Scraping Tool

How to Use Microsoft Excel as a Web Scraping Tool

Microsoft Excel is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools to manage information in a structured form. The immense popularity of Excel is not without reasons. It is like the Swiss army knife of data with its great features and capabilities. Here is how Excel can be used as a basic web scraping tool to extract web data directly into a worksheet. We will be using Excel web queries to make this happen.

Web queries is a feature of Excel which is basically used to fetch data on a web page into the Excel worksheet easily. It can automatically find tables on the webpage and would let you pick the particular table you need data from. Web queries can also be handy in situations where an ODBC connection is impossible to maintain apart from just extracting data from web pages. Let’s see how web queries work and how you can scrape HTML tables off the web using them.
Getting started

We’ll start with a simple Web query to scrape data from the Yahoo! Finance page. This page is particularly easier to scrape and hence is a good fit for learning the method. The page is also pretty straightforward and doesn’t have important information in the form of links or images. Here is the URL we will be using for the tutorial:


To create a new Web query:

1. Select the cell in which you want the data to appear.
2. Click on Data-> From Web
3. The New Web query box will pop up as shown below.

4. Enter the web page URL you need to extract data from in the Address bar and hit the Go button.
5. Click on the yellow-black buttons next to the table you need to extract data from.

6. After selecting the required tables, click on the Import button and you’re done. Excel will now start downloading the content of the selected tables into your worksheet.

Once you have the data scraped into your Excel worksheet, you can do a host of things like creating charts, sorting, formatting etc. to better understand or present the data in a simpler way.
Customizing the query

Once you have created a web query, you have the option to customize it according to your requirements. To do this, access Web query properties by right clicking on a cell with the extracted data. The page you were querying appears again, click on the Options button to the right of the address bar. A new pop up box will be displayed where you can customize how the web query interacts with the target page. The options here lets you change some of the basic things related to web pages like the formatting and redirections.

Apart from this, you can also alter the data range options by right clicking on a random cell with the query results and selecting Data range properties. The data range properties dialog box will pop up where you can make the required changes. You might want to rename the data range to something you can easily recognize like ‘Stock Prices’.

Auto refresh

Auto-refresh is a feature of web queries worth mentioning, and one which makes our Excel web scraper truly powerful. You can make the extracted data to be auto-refreshing so that your Excel worksheet will update the data whenever the source website changes. You can set how often you need the data to be updated from the source web page in data range options menu. The auto refresh feature can be enabled by ticking the box beside ‘Refresh every’ and setting your preferred time interval for updating the data.
Web scraping at scale

Although extracting data using Excel can be a great way to scrape html tables from the web, it is nowhere close to a real web scraping solution. This can prove to be useful if you are collecting data for your college research paper or you are a hobbyist looking for a cheap way to get your hands on some data. If data for business is your need, you will definitely have to depend on a web scraping provider with expertise in dealing with web scraping at scale. Outsourcing the complicated process that web scraping will also give you more room to deal with other things that need extra attention such as marketing your business.

Source: https://www.promptcloud.com/blog/how-to-use-excel-to-scrape-websites

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

How to use Social Media Scraping to be your Competitors’ Nightmare

How to use Social Media Scraping to be your Competitors’ Nightmare

Big data and competitive intelligence have been in the limelight for quite some time now. The almost magical power of big data to help a company make just the right decisions have been talked about a lot. When it comes to big data, the kind of benefits that a business can get totally depends upon the sources they acquire it from. Social media is one of the best sources from where you can get data that helps your business in a multitude of ways. Now that every business is deep rooted on the internet, social media data becomes all the more relevant and crucial. Here is how you can use data scraped from social media sites to get an edge in the competition.

Keeping watch on your competitors

Social media is the best place to watch your competitors’ activity and take counter initiatives to keep up or take over them. If you want to know what your competitors are up to, a social media scraping setup for scraping the posts that mention your competitors’ brand/product names can do the trick. This can also be used to learn a thing or two from their activities on social media so that you can take respective measures to stay ahead of them. For example, you could know if your competitor is running a special promotional offer at the moment and come up with something better than theirs to keep up. This can do wonders if you are in a highly competitive industry like Ecommerce where the competition is intense. If you are not using some help from web scraping technology to keep a close watch on your competitors, you could easily get left over in this fast-paced business scene.

Solving customer issues at the earliest

Customers are vocal about their experience with different products and services on social media sites these days. If you have a customer whose issue was left unsolved, there is a good chance that he/she will take it to the social media to vent the frustration. Watching out for such instances and giving them prompt support should be something you should do if you want to retain these customers and stop them from ruining your brand’s image. By scraping social media sites for posts that mention your product/service, you can easily find out if there are such grievances from customers. This can make sure to an extent that you don’t let unhappy customers stay that way, which eventually hurts your business in the long run. Customers can make or break your company, so using social media scraping to serve the customers better can help you succeed eventually.

Sentiment analysis

Social media data can play a good job at helping you understand user sentiments. With the help of social media scraping, a business can get the big picture about general perception of their brand by their users. This can go a long way since this level of feedback can help you fix unnoticed issues with your company and service quickly. By rectifying them, you can make your brand more appealing to the customers. Sentiment analysis will provide you with the opportunity to transform your business into how customers want it to be. Social media scraping is the one and only way to have access to this user sentiment data which can help you optimize your business for the customers.

Web crawling for social media data

When social media data possess so much value to businesses, it makes sense to look for efficient ways to gather and use this data. Manually scrolling through millions of tweets doesn’t make sense, this is why you should use social media scraping to aggregate the relevant data for your business. Besides, web scraping technologies make it possible to handle huge amounts of data with ease. Since the size of data is huge when it comes to business related requirements, web scraping is the only scalable solution worth considering. To make things even simpler, there are reliable web scraping solutions that offer social media scraping services for brand monitoring.

Bottom line

Since social media has become an integral part of online businesses, the data available on these sites possess immense value to companies in every industry. Social media scraping can be used for brand monitoring and gaining competitive intelligence that can be used to optimize your business model for maximum effectiveness. This will in turn make your company stand out from the competition and the added advantage of insights gained from social media data will help you to take over your competitors.

Source: https://www.promptcloud.com/blog/social-media-scraping-for-competitive-intelligence

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing in a Business Perspective

Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing in a Business Perspective

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence has become a very important activity in the business arena irrespective of the domain due to the fact that managers need to analyze comprehensively in order to face the challenges.

Data sourcing, data analysing, extracting the correct information for a given criteria, assessing the risks and finally supporting the decision making process are the main components of BI.

In a business perspective, core stakeholders need to be well aware of all the above stages and be crystal clear on expectations. The person, who is being assigned with the role of Business Analyst (BA) for the BI initiative either from the BI solution providers' side or the company itself, needs to take the full responsibility on assuring that all the above steps are correctly being carried out, in a way that it would ultimately give the business the expected leverage. The management, who will be the users of the BI solution, and the business stakeholders, need to communicate with the BA correctly and elaborately on their expectations and help him throughout the process.

Data sourcing is an initial yet crucial step that would have a direct impact on the system where extracting information from multiple sources of data has to be carried out. The data may be on text documents such as memos, reports, email messages, and it may be on the formats such as photographs, images, sounds, and they can be on more computer oriented sources like databases, formatted tables, web pages and URL lists. The key to data sourcing is to obtain the information in electronic form. Therefore, typically scanners, digital cameras, database queries, web searches, computer file access etc, would play significant roles. In a business perspective, emphasis should be placed on the identification of the correct relevant data sources, the granularity of the data to be extracted, possibility of data being extracted from identified sources and the confirmation that only correct and accurate data is extracted and passed on to the data analysis stage of the BI process.

Business oriented stake holders guided by the BA need to put in lot of thought during the analyzing stage as well, which is the second phase. Synthesizing useful knowledge from collections of data should be done in an analytical way using the in-depth business knowledge whilst estimating current trends, integrating and summarizing disparate information, validating models of understanding, and predicting missing information or future trends. This process of data analysis is also called data mining or knowledge discovery. Probability theory, statistical analysis methods, operational research and artificial intelligence are the tools to be used within this stage. It is not expected that business oriented stake holders (including the BA) are experts of all the above theoretical concepts and application methodologies, but they need to be able to guide the relevant resources in order to achieve the ultimate expectations of BI, which they know best.

Identifying relevant criteria, conditions and parameters of report generation is solely based on business requirements, which need to be well communicated by the users and correctly captured by the BA. Ultimately, correct decision support will be facilitated through the BI initiative and it aims to provide warnings on important events, such as takeovers, market changes, and poor staff performance, so that preventative steps could be taken. It seeks to help analyze and make better business decisions, to improve sales or customer satisfaction or staff morale. It presents the information that manager's need, as and when they need it.

In a business sense, BI should go several steps forward bypassing the mere conventional reporting, which should explain "what has happened?" through baseline metrics. The value addition will be higher if it can produce descriptive metrics, which will explain "why has it happened?" and the value added to the business will be much higher if predictive metrics could be provided to explain "what will happen?" Therefore, when providing a BI solution, it is important to think in these additional value adding lines.

Data warehousing

In the context of BI, data warehousing (DW) is also a critical resource to be implemented to maximize the effectiveness of the BI process. BI and DW are two terminologies that go in line. It has come to a level where a true BI system is ineffective without a powerful DW, in order to understand the reality behind this statement, it's important to have an insight in to what DW really is.

A data warehouse is one large data store for the business in concern which has integrated, time variant, non volatile collection of data in support of management's decision making process. It will mainly have transactional data which would facilitate effective querying, analyzing and report generation, which in turn would give the management the required level of information for the decision making.

The reasons to have BI together with DW

At this point, it should be made clear why a BI tool is more effective with a powerful DW. To query, analyze and generate worthy reports, the systems should have information available. Importantly, transactional information such as sales data, human resources data etc. are available normally in different applications of the enterprise, which would obviously be physically held in different databases. Therefore, data is not at one particular place, hence making it very difficult to generate intelligent information.

The level of reports expected today, are not merely independent for each department, but managers today want to analyze data and relationships across the enterprise so that their BI process is effective. Therefore, having data coming from all the sources to one location in the form of a data warehouse is crucial for the success of the BI initiative. In a business viewpoint, this message should be passed and sold to the managements of enterprises so that they understand the value of the investment. Once invested, its gains could be achieved over several years, in turn marking a high ROI.

Investment costs for a DW in the short term may look quite high, but it's important to re-iterate that the gains are much higher and it will span over many years to come. It also reduces future development cost since with the DW any requested report or view could be easily facilitated. However, it is important to find the right business sponsor for the project. He or she needs to communicate regularly with executives to ensure that they understand the value of what's being built. Business sponsors need to be decisive, take an enterprise-wide perspective and have the authority to enforce their decisions.


Implementation of a DW itself overlaps with some phases of the above explained BI process and it's important to note that in a process standpoint, DW falls in to the first few phases of the entire BI initiative. Gaining highly valuable information out of DW is the latter part of the BI process. This can be done in many ways. DW can be used as the data repository of application servers that run decision support systems, management Information Systems, Expert systems etc., through them, intelligent information could be achieved.

But one of the latest strategies is to build cubes out of the DW and allow users to analyze data in multiple dimensions, and also provide with powerful analytical supporting such as drill down information in to granular levels. Cube is a concept that is different to the traditional relational 2-dimensional tabular view, and it has multiple dimensions, allowing a manager to analyze data based on multiple factors, and not just two factors. On the other hand, it allows the user to select whatever the dimension he wish to choose for analyzing purposes and not be limited by one fixed view of data, which is called as slice & dice in DW terminology.

BI for a serious enterprise is not just a phase of a computerization process, but it is one of the major strategies behind the entire organizational drivers. Therefore management should sit down and build up a BI strategy for the company and identify the information they require in each business direction within the enterprise. Given this, BA needs to analyze the organizational data sources in order to build up the most effective DW which would help the strategized BI process.

High level Ideas on Implementation

At the heart of the data warehousing process is the extract, transform, and load (ETL) process. Implementation of this merely is a technical concern but it's a business concern to make sure it is designed in such a way that it ultimately helps to satisfy the business requirements. This process is responsible for connecting to and extracting data from one or more transactional systems (source systems), transforming it according to the business rules defined through the business objectives, and loading it into the all important data model. It is at this point where data quality should be gained. Of the many responsibilities of the data warehouse, the ETL process represents a significant portion of all the moving parts of the warehousing process.

Creation of a powerful DW depends on the correctness of data modeling, which is the responsibility of the database architect of the project, but BA needs to play a pivotal role providing him with correct data sources, data requirements and most importantly business dimensions. Business Dimensional modeling is a special method used for DW projects and this normally should be carried out by the BA and from there onwards technical experts should take up the work. Dimensions are perspectives specific to a business that could be used for analysis purposes. As an example, for a sales database, the dimensions could include Product, Time, Store, etc. Obviously these dimensions differ from one business to another and hence for each DW initiative those dimensions should be correctly identified and that could be very well done by a person who has experience in the DW domain and understands the business as well, making it apparent that DW BA is the person responsible.

Each of the identified dimensions would be turned in to a dimension table at the implementation phase, and the objective of the above explained ETL process is to fill up these dimension tables, which in turn will be taken to the level of the DW after performing some more database activities based on a strong underlying data model. Implementation details are not important for a business stakeholder but being aware of high level process to this level is important so that they are also on the same pitch as that of the developers and can confirm that developers are actually doing what they are supposed to do and would ultimately deliver what they are supposed to deliver.

Security is also vital in this regard, since this entire effort deals with highly sensitive information and identification of access right to specific people to specific information should be correctly identified and captured at the requirements analysis stage.


There are so many advantages of BI system. More presentation of analytics directly to the customer or supply chain partner will be possible. Customer scores, customer campaigns and new product bundles can all be produced from analytic structures resulting in high customer retention and creation of unique products. More collaboration within information can be achieved from effective BI. Rather than middle managers getting great reports and making their own areas look good, information will be conveyed into other functions and rapidly shared to create collaborative decisions increasing the efficiency and accuracy. The return on human capital will be greatly increased.

Managers at all levels will save their time on data analysis, and hence saving money for the enterprise, as the time of managers is equal to money in a financial perspective. Since powerful BI would enable monitoring internal processes of the enterprises more closely and allow making them more efficient, the overall success of the organization would automatically grow. All these would help to derive a high ROI on BI together with a strong DW. It is a common experience to notice very high ROI figures on such implementations, and it is also important to note that there are many non-measurable gains whilst we consider most of the measurable gains for the ROI calculation. However, at a stage where it is intended to take the management buy-in for the BI initiative, it's important to convert all the non measurable gains in to monitory values as much as possible, for example, saving of managers time can be converted in to a monitory value using his compensation.

The author has knowledge in both Business and IT. Started career as a Software Engineer and moved to work in the business analysis area of a premier US based software company.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Business-Intelligence-and-Data-Warehousing-in-a-Business-Perspective&id=35640

Friday, 12 August 2016

Web Scraping Best Practices

Web Scraping Best Practices

Extracting data from the World Wide Web has several challenges as more webmasters are working day and night to lower cases of scraping and crawling of their data in order to survive in the competitive world. There are various other problems you may face when web scraping and most of them can be avoided by adapting and implementing certain web scraping best practices as discussed in this article.

Have knowledge of the scraping tools

Acquiring adequate knowledge of hurdles that may be encountered during web scraping, you will be able to have a smooth web scraping experience and be on the safe side of the law. Conduct a thorough research on the types of tools you will use for scraping and crawling. Firsthand knowledge on these tools will help you find the data you need without being blocked.

Proper proxy software that acts as the middle party works well when you know how to work around HTTP and HTML protocols. Use tools that can change crawling patterns, URLs and data retrieved even when you are crawling on one domain. This will help you abide to the rules and regulations that come with web scraping activities and escaping any legal issues.
Conduct your scraping activities during off-peak hours

You may opt to extract data during times that less people have access for instance over the weekends, during late night hours, public holidays among others. Visiting a website on several instances to retrieve the same type of data is a waste of bandwidth. It is always advisable to download the entire site content to your computer and thereafter you can access it whenever need arises.
Hide your scrapping activities

There is a thin line between ethical and unethical crawling hence you should completely evade being on the top user list of a particular website. Cover up your track as best as you can by making use of proxy IPs to avoid any legal problems. You may also use multiple IP addresses or VPN services to conceal your scrapping activities and lower chances of landing on a website’s blacklist.

Website owners today are very protective of their data and any other information existing under their unique url. Be keen when going through the terms and conditions indicated by websites as they may consider crawling as an infringement of their privacy. Simple etiquette goes a long way. Your web scraping efforts will be fruitful if the site owner supports the idea of sharing data.
Keep record of your activities

Web scraping involves large amount of data.Due to this you may not always remember each and every piece of information you have acquired, gathering statistics will help you monitor your activities.
Load data in phases

Web scraping demands a lot of patience from you when using the crawlers to get needed information. Take the process in a slow manner by loading data one piece at a time. Several parallel request to the same domain can crush the entire site or retrace the scrapping attempts back to your local machine.

Loading data small bits will save you the hustle of scrapping afresh in case that your activity has been interrupted because you will have already stored part of the data required. You can reduce the loading data on an individual domain through various techniques such as caching pages that you have scrapped to escape redundancy occurrences. Use auto throttling mechanisms to increase the amount of traffic to the website and pause for breaks between requests to prevent getting banned.

Through these few mentioned web scraping best practices you will be able to work around website and gather the data required as per clients’ request without major hurdles along the way. The ultimate goal of every web scraper is to be able to access vital information and at the same time remain on the good side of the law.

Source: http://nocodewebscraping.com/web-scraping-best-practices/

Friday, 5 August 2016

Invest in Data Extraction to Grow Your Business

Invest in Data Extraction to Grow Your Business

Automating your employees’ processes can help you increase productivity while keeping the cost of used resources at a minimum. This can help you focus your time and money in much needed areas of your company so that you can thrive in your industry. Data extraction can help you achieve automation by targeting online data sources (websites, blogs, forums, etc) for information and data that can be useful to your business. By using software rather than your employees, you can oftentimes get more accurate data and more thorough information that people may miss. The software can handle the volume that you need and will deliver the results that you desire to help your company.
See the Power of Data Extraction Online

To see all of the ways that data extraction tools and software can benefit your business, There you can read about the features of the software, practical uses for businesses and also schedule a demo before you buy.

Source: http://www.connotate.com/invest-in-data-extraction-to-grow-your-business/

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Scraping data from LinkedIn

Scraping data from LinkedIn

How to scrape data from LinkedIn public profile for marketing purposes?

You can scrape data from a LinkedIn public profile using data scraper software. LinkedIn data extraction is most beneficial for marketers and most medium size companies rely on LinkedIn for their marketing purpose.

I would recommend you to use "LinkedIn Lead Extractor" software, which helps to quickly scrape public profiles from LinkedIn. With this tool your can scrape profile link, First Name, Last Name, Email, Phone Address, Twitter id, Yahoo messenger id, Skype Id, Google Talk ID, Job Role, Company Name, Address, Country, Connections. This company has built this tool specially for LinkedIn marketers who are not satisfied with their drop ship supplier's digital data.

LinkedIn advance search provides you the targeted customers profiles list with your requirements like country, country, city, company, job title, and much more.

In few weeks you can developed new ways to set-up differently the sales teams and create a much more technologic environment in the strategy department. An internal platform that generated targeted leads can be of a very big help. You can easily execute go to market to any area or city in so much little time compared with some years ago.

Source: http://www.ahmadsoftware.com/blogs/4/scraping-data-from-linkedin.html

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Content Scrapers – How to Find Out Who is Stealing Your Content & What to Do About It

If you have been blogging for a while, chances are you are familiar with content scrapers. Content scrapers are websites that steal your content for their own blogs without your permission. Some content scrapers will just copy the content off of your blog, but most use automated software that takes the content from your RSS feed and posts your content to their site like it is a new post.

In this post, we are going to look at some potential link building benefits to content scrapers, how to find out what sites are scraping your content, and what you can do if you want to either benefit from the linking standpoint or have them take it down.

Linking Benefits of Content Scrapers

Last week, I was happy to see that I was listed in ProBlogger’s 20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012. Within 24 hours, I received a notification in my WordPress dashboard that a page on my blog had been linked to in the post on ProBlogger’s site.

After receiving the original notification from the ProBlogger post, I also received another 18 trackbacks from sites that had stolen the content in their post verbatim. Trackbacks are WordPress’ way of letting you know that another website has linked to a post on your blog. In this case, these 18 sites had posted the content exactly like the original post – with the links back to my blog still intact.

It was then that I started contemplating the potential link building benefits of content scrapers. These are not by any means quality links – the highest Google PageRank was a PR 2 domain, many were stealing content in a variety of languages, and one even had the nerve to use some kind of redirection script to take away the link juice of outgoing links! So while these links didn’t have the same authority that the original post had, they still count as links.

How to Catch Content Scrapers

Unfortunately, unless you want to continuously search for your post titles in Google, you’ll only be able to easily track down sites that keep your in-content links active. If you want to know what websites are scraping your content, here are a few tips to sniff them out.


Copyscape is a simple search engine that allows you to enter the URL of your content to find out if there are duplicates of it on the Internet. You can get a few results using their free search, or you can pay for a premium account to check up to 10,000 pages on your site and more.


The first way is through your trackbacks in WordPress (as shown in the image above). Many of these will show up in the spam folder if you use Akismet. The key to getting trackbacks to appear from content scrapers is to always include links to other posts in your content. Be sure those links have great anchor text too, if you’re going for a little extra link juice. And even if you are not, internal linking with strong anchor text is good for your on-site optimization too!

Anyone thinking about link building benefits at this point is probably noting the sheer volume of links from these sites, some of which are content scrapers. Essentially any site that is linking to a lot of your posts that isn’t a social network, social bookmarking site, or a die-hard fan who just loves linking to you is potentially a content scraper. You’ll have to go to their website to be sure. To find your links on their site, click on one of the domains to see the details of what pages on your site they are linking to specifically.

You can see here that they are just blatantly copying my posts titles. When I visited one of the links, sure enough, they are copying my entire posts in their full glory onto their site.

Google Alerts

If you don’t post often or want to keep up with any mentions of your top blog posts on other websites, you can create a Google Alert using the exact match for your post’s title by putting the title in quotation marks.

I deliver all of my Google Alerts to an RSS feed so I can manage them in Google Reader, but you can also have them delivered regularly by email. You’ll even get an instant preview of the types of results you will get.

How to Get Credit for Scraped Posts

If you use WordPress, then you definitely want to try out the RSS footer plugin. This plugin allows you to place a custom piece of text at the top or bottom of your RSS feed content.
As you can see, even if you aren’t using it for the purpose of getting credit back to your posts when content thieves steal it, you can still use it for a little extra bit of advertising with the possible benefit of people who subscribe to your RSS feed clicking through to your website or social profiles. And when someone does scrape your content from your RSS feed, it shows up there too

So in the event that someone finds your scraped content, they will hopefully notice the credit before assuming it was created by the blog that stole it. If you don’t have WordPress, you can simply include a note at the top or bottom of your content that includes the same information.

How to Stop Content Scrapers

If you’re not interested in anyone copying your content, then you have a few options to choose from. You can start by contacting the site that is stealing your content and sending them a notice that you want all of your content removed immediately. You can do this through the site’s contact form, email address, or post it to any social accounts they list.

If there is no contact information on the website stealing your content, you can do a Whois Lookup to (hopefully) find out who owns the domain.

If it is not privately registered, you should find an administrative contact’s email address. If not, you should at least see the domain registrar which, in this case, is GoDaddy and/or the hosting company for the website which, in this case, is HostGator. You can try to contact both companies (HostGator has a DMCA form and GoDaddy has an email) and let them know that the domain in question is stealing copyrighted content in hopes that the website will be suspended or removed.

You can also visit the DMCA and use their takedown services to remove anyone who is copying your photos, video, audio, blog, or other content. They even offer a WordPress plugin to incorporate a DMCA protected badge on your site to warn potential thieves.

Have you ever dealt with content scrapers and thieves? Do you leave it alone for the link benefits, or do you fight back? What other tools, services, or other preventative tactics do you use to block content scrapers? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Source URL : https://blog.kissmetrics.com/content-scrapers/

Monday, 11 July 2016

Data Scraping – Will Definitely Benefit a Business Startup

With increasingly data shared using internet, the data collected as well as the usage cases are increasing with an unbelievable pace. We’ve entered into the “Big Data” age and data scraping is among the resources to supply big data engines, the latest data for analytical analytics, contest monitoring, or just to steal the data.

From the technology viewpoint, competent data scraping is fairly complicated. It has many open-source projects that allow anybody to run a web data scraper through him. Nevertheless it’s the entire different story while it needs to be an interior of the business as well as that you require not only maintaining your scrapers but also scaling them as well as extract the data smartly as you need.

That is the reason why different services are selling the “data scraping” as service. Their work is taking care about all the technical characteristics so that you can have the data required without any industrial knowledge. Fundamentally all these startups pay attention for collecting the data and then extract its value for selling it to the customers.

Let’s take some examples:

• Sales Intelligence – The scrapers monitor competitors, marketplaces, online directories, and data from the public markets to discover leads. For instance, some tool’s track websites that drop or add JavaScript tags from the competitors therefore you can call them as eligible leads.
• Price Intelligence – A very ordinary use is the price monitoring. If this is in with e-commerce, travel, or property industry monitoring competitors’ prices as well as adjusting yours consequently is generally the key. All these services monitor the prices and using the analytical algorithms they may provide you advice about where the puck can be.
• Marketing – Data scraping may also be used for monitoring how the competitors are doing. From the reviews they have on the marketplaces to get coverage as well as financially published data one can find out a lot. Concerned about marketing, there is a development hacking class which teaches how to use scraping for the marketing objectives.

Finance intelligence, economic intelligence, etc have more and more financial, political, and economical data accessible online with the newer type of services that collect and add up of that, are increasing.

Let’s go through some points concerned with the market:

• It’s tough to evaluate how huge the data scraping market is as this is with the intersection of many big industries like sales, IT security, finance and marketing intelligence. This method is certainly a small part of all these industries however is expected to increase in the coming years.
• It’s a secured bet to indicate that increasingly SaaS will get pioneering applications for the web data scraping as well as progressively startups will use data scraping services from the safety viewpoint.
• As all the startups are generally entering huge markets using niche products / approaches (web data scraping isn’t a solution of everything, it’s more like a feature) they are expected to be obtained by superior players (within the safety, sales, or marketing tools industries). The technological barriers are also there.

Source URL : http://www.3idatascraping.com/data-scraping-will-definitely-benefit-a-business-startup.php

Friday, 8 July 2016

Web Scraping Services : Making Modern File Formats More Accessible

Data scraping is the process of automatically sorting through information contained on the internet inside html, PDF or other documents and collecting relevant information to into databases and spreadsheets for later retrieval. On most websites, the text is easily and accessibly written in the source code but an increasing number of businesses are using Adobe PDF format (Portable Document Format: A format which can be viewed by the free Adobe Acrobat software on almost any operating system. See below for a link.). The advantage of PDF format is that the document looks exactly the same no matter which computer you view it from making it ideal for business forms, specification sheets, etc.; the disadvantage is that the text is converted into an image from which you often cannot easily copy and paste. PDF Scraping is the process of data scraping information contained in PDF files. To PDF scrape a PDF document, you must employ a more diverse set of tools.

There are two main types of PDF files: those built from a text file and those built from an image (likely scanned in). Adobe's own software is capable of PDF scraping from text-based PDF files but special tools are needed for PDF scraping text from image-based PDF files. The primary tool for PDF scraping is the OCR program. OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, programs scan a document for small pictures that they can separate into letters. These pictures are then compared to actual letters and if matches are found, the letters are copied into a file. OCR programs can perform PDF scraping of image-based PDF files quite accurately but they are not perfect.

Once the OCR program or Adobe program has finished PDF scraping a document, you can search through the data to find the parts you are most interested in. This information can then be stored into your favorite database or spreadsheet program. Some PDF scraping programs can sort the data into databases and/or spreadsheets automatically making your job that much easier.

Quite often you will not find a PDF scraping program that will obtain exactly the data you want without customization. Surprisingly a search on Google only turned up one business, that will create a customized PDF scraping utility for your project. A handful of off the shelf utilities claim to be customizable, but seem to require a bit of programming knowledge and time commitment to use effectively. Obtaining the data yourself with one of these tools may be possible but will likely prove quite tedious and time consuming. It may be advisable to contract a company that specializes in PDF scraping to do it for you quickly and professionally.

Let's explore some real world examples of the uses of PDF scraping technology. A group at Cornell University wanted to improve a database of technical documents in PDF format by taking the old PDF file where the links and references were just images of text and changing the links and references into working clickable links thus making the database easy to navigate and cross-reference. They employed a PDF scraping utility to deconstruct the PDF files and figure out where the links were. They then could create a simple script to re-create the PDF files with working links replacing the old text image.

A computer hardware vendor wanted to display specifications data for his hardware on his website. He hired a company to perform PDF scraping of the hardware documentation on the manufacturers' website and save the PDF scraped data into a database he could use to update his webpage automatically.

PDF Scraping is just collecting information that is available on the public internet. PDF Scraping does not violate copyright laws.

PDF Scraping is a great new technology that can significantly reduce your workload if it involves retrieving information from PDF files. Applications exist that can help you with smaller, easier PDF Scraping projects but companies exist that will create custom applications for larger or more intricate PDF Scraping jobs.

Source URL :  http://yellowpagesdatascraping.blogspot.in/2015/06/web-scraping-services-making-modern.html

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel - The Perils of Online Article Marketing

Many online article marketers so desperately wish to succeed, they want to dump corporate life and work for themselves out of their home. They decide they are going to create an online money making website. Therefore, they look around to see what everyone else is doing, and watch the methods others use to attract online buyers, and then they mimic their marketing, their strategies, and their business models.

Still, if you are copying what other people (less ethical people) are doing in online article marketing, those which are scraping the bottom of the barrel and using false advertising and misrepresentations, then all you are really doing is perpetuating distrust on the Internet. Therefore, you are hurting everyone, including people like me. You must realize that people like me don't appreciate that.

Let me give you a few examples of some of the things going on out there, thing that are being done by people who are ethically challenged. Far too many people write articles and then on their byline they send the Internet surfer or reader of the article to a website that has a squeeze page. The squeeze page has no real information on it, rather it asks for their name and e-mail address.

If the would-be Internet surfer is unwise enough to type in their name and email address they will be spammed by e-mail, receiving various hard-sell marketing pieces. Then, if the Internet Surfer does decide to put in their e-mail address, the website grants them access and then takes them to the page with information about what they are selling, or their online marketing "make you a millionaire" scheme.

Generally, these are five page sales letters, with tons of testimonials of people you've never heard of, and may not actually exist, and all sorts of unsubstantiated earnings claims of how much money you will make if you give them $39.35 by way of PayPal, for this limited offer "Now!" And they will send you an E-book with a strategic plan of how you can duplicate what they are doing. The reality is whatever they are doing is questionable to begin with.

Source URL  : http://ezinearticles.com/?Scraping-the-Bottom-of-the-Barrel---The-Perils-of-Online-Article-Marketing&id=2710103

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Beginner’s guide to Web Scraping in Python (using Beautiful Soup)


The need and importance of extracting data from the web is becoming increasingly loud and clear. Every few weeks, I find myself in a situation where we need to extract data from the web. For example, last week we were thinking of creating an index of hotness and sentiment about various data science courses available on the internet. This would not only require finding out new courses, but also scrape the web for their reviews and then summarizing them in a few metrics! This is one of the problems / products, whose efficacy depends more on web scrapping and information extraction (data collection) than the techniques used to summarize the data.

Ways to extract information from web

There are several ways to extract information from the web. Use of APIs being probably the best way to extract data from a website. Almost all large websites like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Twitter, StackOverflow provide APIs to access their data in a more structured manner. If you can get what you need through an API, it is almost always preferred approach over web scrapping. This is because if you are getting access to structured data from the provider, why would you want to create an engine to extract the same information.

Sadly, not all websites provide an API. Some do it because they do not want the readers to extract huge information in structured way, while others don’t provide APIs due to lack of technical knowledge. What do you do in these cases? Well, we need to scrape the website to fetch the information.

There might be a few other ways like RSS feeds, but they are limited in their use and hence I am not including them in the discussion here.

What is Web Scraping?

Web scraping is a computer software technique of extracting information from websites. This technique mostly focuses on the transformation of unstructured data (HTML format) on the web into structured data (database or spreadsheet).

You can perform web scrapping in various ways, including use of Google Docs to almost every programming language. I would resort to Python because of its ease and rich eocsystem. It has a library known as ‘Beautiful Soup’ which assists this task. In this article, I’ll show you the easiest way to learn web scraping using python programming.

For those of you, who need a non-programming way to extract information out of web pages, you can also look at import.io . It provides a GUI driven interface to perform all basic web scraping operations. The hackers can continue to read this article!

Libraries required for web scraping

As we know, python is a open source programming language. You may find many libraries to perform one function. Hence, it is necessary to find the best to use library. I prefer Beautiful Soup (python library), since it is easy and intuitive to work on. Precisely, I’ll use two Python modules for scraping data:

Urllib2: It is a Python module which can be used for fetching URLs. It defines functions and classes to help with URL actions (basic and digest authentication, redirections, cookies, etc). For more detail refer to the documentation page.

Beautiful Soup: It is an incredible tool for pulling out information from a webpage. You can use it to extract tables, lists, paragraph and you can also put filters to extract information from web pages. In this article, we will use latest version Beautiful Soup 4. You can look at the installation instruction in its documentation page.

Beautiful Soup does not fetch the web page for us. That’s why, I use urllib2 in combination with the BeautifulSoup library.

Python has several other options for HTML scraping in addition to Beatiful Soup. Here are some others:


Basics – Get familiar with HTML (Tags)

While performing web scarping, we deal with html tags. Thus, we must have good understanding of them.                      
 you already know basics of HTML, you can skip this section. Below is the basic syntax of HTML:
  This syntax has various tags as elaborated below:

    <!DOCTYPE html> : HTML documents must start with a type declaration
      HTML document is contained between <html> and </html>
      The visible part of the HTML document is between <body> and </body>
       HTML headings are defined with the <h1> to <h6> tags
       HTML paragraphs are defined with the <

Scrapping a web Page using Beautiful Soup

Here, I am scraping data from a Wikipedia page. Our final goal is to extract list of state, union territory capitals in India. And some basic detail like establishment, former capital and others form this wikipedia page. Let’s learn with doing this project step wise step:

Import necessary libraries:

#import the library used to query a website
import urllib2
#specify the url
wiki = "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state_and_union_territory_capitals_in_India"
#Query the website and return the html to the variable 'page'
page = urllib2.urlopen(wiki)
#import the Beautiful soup functions to parse the data returned from the website
from bs4 import Beautiful Soup
#Parse the html in the 'page' variable, and store it in Beautiful Soup format
soup = Beautiful Soup(page)

Use function “prettify” to look at nested structure of HTML page

Above, you can see that structure of the HTML tags. This will help you to know about different available tags and how can you play with these to extract information.

Work with HTML tags

    soup.<tag>: Return content between opening and closing tag including tag.
    Out[30]:<title>List of state and union territory capitals in India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</title>
    soup.<tag>.string: Return string within given tag
    In [38]:soup.title.string
    Out[38]:u'List of state and union territory capitals in India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia'

Find all the links within page’s <a> tags::  We know that, we can tag a link using tag “<a>”. So, we should go with option soup.a and it should return the links available in the web page. Let’s do it.

    In [40]:soup.a
    Out[40]:<a id="top"></a>

Above, you can see that, we have only one output. Now to extract all the links within <a>, we will use

Above, it is showing all links including titles, links and other information.  Now to show only links, we need to iterate over each a tag and then return the link using attribute “href” with get.

Find the right table: As we are seeking a table to extract information about state capitals, we should identify the right table first. Let’s write the command to extract information within all table tags.


Now to identify the right table, we will use attribute “class” of table and use it to filter the right table. In chrome, you can check the class name by right click on the required table of web page –> Inspect element –> Copy the class name OR go through the output of above command find the class name of right table.

right_table=soup.find('table', class_='wikitable sortable plainrowheaders')


Extract the information to DataFrame: Here, we need to iterate through each row (tr) and then assign each element of tr (td) to a variable and append it to a list. Let’s first look at the HTML structure of the table (I am not going to extract information for table heading <th>)
Above, you can notice that second element of <tr> is within tag <th> not <td> so we need to take care for this. Now to access value of each element, we will use “find(text=True)” option with each element.  Let’s look at the code

#Generate lists

for row in right_table.findAll("tr"):

    cells = row.findAll('td')
    states=row.findAll('th') #To store second column data
    if len(cells)==6: #Only extract table body not heading

#import pandas to convert list to data frame

import pandas as pd

Similarly, you can perform various other types of web scraping using “Beautiful Soup“. This will reduce your manual efforts to collect data from web pages. You can also look at the other attributes like .parent, .contents, .descendants and .next_sibling, .prev_sibling and various attributes to navigate using tag name. These will help you to scrap the web pages effectively.-

But, why can’t I just use Regular Expressions?

Now, if you know regular expressions, you might be thinking that you can write code using regular expression which can do the same thing for you. I definitely had this question. In my experience with Beautiful Soup and Regular expressions to do same thing I found out:

Code written in Beautiful Soup is usually more robust than the one written using regular expressions. Codes written with regular expressions need to be altered with any changes in pages. Even Beautiful Soup needs that in some cases, it is just that Beautiful Soup is relatively better.

Regular expressions are much faster than Beautiful Soup, usually by a factor of 100 in giving the same outcome.

So, it boils down to speed vs. robustness of the code and there is no universal winner here. If the information you are looking for can be extracted with simple regex statements, you should go ahead and use them. For almost any complex work, I usually recommend BeautifulSoup more than regex.

End Note

In this article, we looked at web scraping methods using “Beautiful Soup” and “urllib2” in Python. We also looked at the basics of HTML and perform the web scraping step by step while solving a challenge. I’d recommend you to practice this and use it for collecting data from web pages.

 Source : http://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2015/10/beginner-guide-web-scraping-beautiful-soup-python/