Want to scrape bulk data without getting blocked?
Ever wonder how big companies identify business opportunities or make massive policy decisions or get ahead of competition?
Yes, you are right- through extracted data that gives them insights and edge.
That is why web scraping has become such a must for businesses.
We can tell you from our experience that web scraping can turn it all around- how you organize your business, how you spot gap areas in your field and how you even run daily operations.
But doing it in-house can be tricky. Most companies find it hard to do web scraping effectively on their own. We noticed that 40% of companies report technical challenges in running web scraping in-house.
We recently helped out a company which was doing web scraping in-house after they decided to shift to our service. Their life got better overnight! We could boost the quantity and quality of data extraction as per their needs using our technical prowess and tools. You can check out the case study here.
We will explain in this blog the advantages of a web scraping service compared to doing it in-house and how it can help you get an edge in data extraction.
What are the challenges of in-house web scraping?
We can tell you this much-trying to run continuous web scraping in-house can pose a lot of challenges. Here’s a short list of key challenges:
- Facing blocked requests from websites: Anti-scraping techniques have also become sophisticated. Many websites use techniques such as CAPTCHA or IP blocking to stop you from scraping the data or at least make it difficult. It is reported that 20-30% of the times, in-house attempts at web scraping results in failed requests due to anti-scraping mechanisms.
- Ensuring data quality assurance: When done in-house, clean data may not be easy to get. A lot of errors or inconsistencies can creep in. So making sure the extracted data is clean, reliable and accurate is a challenge in in-house web scraping.
- Scalability concerns: It is one thing to scrape data for a small project in-house. Doing it on a scale can get out of hand. Because we know for a fact, it requires robust infrastructure, sophisticated tools and technical expertise to tackle such large quantities of data.
- Cost of in-house web scraping: Many people assume that doing it in-house may be less costly. Data suggests that companies spend around $50,000 to $100,000 per year for in-houses web scraping. The reason it costs so much is that it requires getting skilled developers, maintaining infrastructure and owning and upgrading tools. So it is challenging to spend so much and also monitor it in-house. If you outsource, you can reduce the cost by 30% to 50%.
Why should you consider outsourcing web scraping to service providers?
Well, you already have a challenging business to manage. It requires your full attention. We understand that the disruptions in the world of business alone take away all the time and resources. Now, if you have to manage one more operation like web scraping at your end, it will not be viable for you to focus on your business.
In our view, it is always a good business practice to outsource that which is not the core part of your business and where you can reduce cost by outsourcing. In that case, outsourcing web scraping is a great solution.
Compared to in-house efforts, outsourcing web scraping offers various advantages. It can become hugely efficient, cost-effective and will reduce 40-60% of your time required for in-house web scraping.
Here’re the 6 key benefits:
|Benefits||Outsourcing to Service Providers||In-House Web Scraping|
|Expertise and Specialization||Web scraping service providers hire a team of professionals with expertise in web scraping. They can set it up, extract data, navigate anti-scraping mechanisms and provide clean and ready-to-use data.||In-house team may not have the professionals to handle various stages of data extraction. So tackling troubleshooting or data cleaning or scaling it up can pose challenges.|
|Time Savings and Efficiency||As there are trained professionals in their team, they can efficiently and quickly extract the data that you need. They also have highly effective processes so they can scrape big quantities of data in a lot lesser time. This makes web scraping hassle-free and efficient for you.||While doing it in-house, it is way too time-consuming because you may not have specialists for various parts of the web scraping exercise. You may not have the right tools to deal with complex websites either. If you try manually, it will take a lot of time and energy and you cannot scale it up. So it will be less efficient and productive.|
|Access to Advanced Tools and Technologies||Web scraping service providers use a number of advanced tools exclusively designed for data extraction. They also remain adaptive and upgrade the tools and technologies emerging in the field of web scraping. This enables them to deploy the most efficient tools of web scraping. When you outsource, you can benefit from these advanced tools without really having to buy these tools or invest in the infrastructure.||While trying to do it in-house, buying the tools for web scraping and investing in the infrastructure can be a big hurdle. Keeping track of new advancements in web scraping tools and upgrading can be a challenge too.|
|Scalability and Flexibility||Depending on your requirements, service providers can scale it up and get you the data you want. Since they specialize in it, they have the tools and resources to scale it up and tackle big quantities of data. They have the in-built flexibility to adjust and align to diverse data requirements and handle businesses of different sizes. Even if the data requirements keep fluctuating in your particular business, they can adjust and serve you as per your customized needs.||Scaling it up while doing it in-house may not work as you may not have the skilled workforce or tools to handle large volumes of data. It will mean more investment of time and money which may not work for you. Scaling it up and down as per data requirements may also not be easily possible for in-house team.|
|Quality Assurance and Data Validation||With plenty of experience and robust processes, web scraping service providers can ensure quality. They have the tools and expertise to clean the data and remove inconsistencies. This makes the data accurate and reliable. It means that that data carries value and it can be readily used for decision making in your respective business.||In-house web scraping may be functional but not professionally managed. So the team may not have the expertise for quality assurance resulting in unreliable data. Scraping may be possible by the in-house team. But cleaning the data and validating it may need some more tools and skills that in-house team may not have.|
|Legal and Ethical Compliance||Having a web scraping tool does not give you free license to scrape data from anywhere and everywhere. There are laws that govern the web scraping process. Violation of this can open you up to legal trouble. Fortunately, web scraping service providers are experienced in navigating the legal and ethical issues and ensure the compliance required. Once you outsource it to them, it is anyway their responsibility and completely insulates you from legal and ethical concerns.||Doing it in-house means that you are liable to legal action if you violate the laws related to web scraping. Even ethical violations can have implications. Non-compliance with legal and ethical norms can result in legal complications for you.|
Are you aware of the cost-saving advantage when opting for web scraping services over in-house efforts?
Well, doing it in-house can cost you a lot of money. By outsourcing, you can save up to 30% to 50% in terms of cost for web scraping.
Let’s take a look at the comparison of key factors in terms of cost:
|Cost Saving Factors||Web Scraping Service||In-House Efforts|
|Infrastructure Costs||Investment in infrastructure not needed||Can cost a lot in terms of hardware and software|
|Development and Maintenance Costs||Service provider takes care of developing and maintaining the web scraping products and processes||Need to hire full-time professionals. Need to train and retrain them.|
|Scalability||Adaptive pricing based on your requirement and usage||Significant costs in terms of infrastructure and resources to scale it up.|
|Data Quality Assurance Costs||Included in service package||Additional tools and processes required|
|Downtime Costs||Minimal||Significant losses possible due to technical glitches|
|Time and Resource Allocation||Outsourcing makes your resources free for any other kind of work||Needs manpower and allocation of time and resources.|
“The success of your web scraping projects depends on the expertise and support of your service provider. Choose one that values your goals and provides exceptional customer service.“
Our observation and experience of the industry tells us that compared to doing it in-house, outsourcing it to a web scraping service offers a variety of advantages. Outsourcing it takes care of issues related to blocked requests, quality of data, legal complications and enables you to simply focus on how you can use the data for scaling up your business.