If you are scraping data from the internet, the first thing you should be looking is API (Application Program Interface). It’s the first requirement any IT researcher or data scientist needed to pull content from any third party website. I also had an experience using it during my early career in IT, and I’m still using it in developing some apps. I also used before SCRAPER which is a python library for web scraping. It requires some background in programming to be able to use it.
But today, because of the unbelievable evolution of IT industry, there are so many softwares, third party websites and apps created just to get data from the internet. Some are very useful to me in conducting market research, doing competitive analysis and making high quality decisions. So I listed my top 5 tools to help you also for scraping data. So here they are:
Import.io is an graphical platform for extracting data from websites without writing any code and storing it into spreadsheets or CSV files. It allows anyone to create an API using their point and click interface. It also offers a free software that you can download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux to build data extractors and crawlers. It’s free for 500 queries per month, but also offers other packages that suit the needs of small to large businesses.
Webhose.io provide on-demand access to crawl, structure and unify web data, making it readily available for your system’s use. It can save in any various output format including XML, JSON and RSS. It has a free plan letting users to query 1000 requests per month, and a $2,100 monthly subscription plan for 1,000,000 requests per month.
Scrapinghub is a cloud-based web crawling platform that simplifies any web data scraping efforts. It allows their spiders to be deployed instantly and scale them on demand. They also have smart proxy rotator (Crawlera) for scrawling large websites faster by bypassing both countermeasures. Its free for 7 days retention and can cost $25/month for 150K monthly requests.
ParseHub is a cloud-based platform that allows data extraction not only from static websites, but from dynamic ones as well. It uses IP rotation from a fleet of proxies in crawling websites and the data can be downloaded in any format (e.g. JSON & Excel) for analysis. It’s free to scrape unlimited queries from 5 public projects or websites. It also comes with 120 private projects at $499 per month.
Scraper is a free Google Chrome browser extension for simple online research that can extract data in spreadsheet form quickly. It also uses an XPath that can write specifications of document locations.
That’s my top five tools in web scraping. If you have other tools that should be included in the list, or would you like to share your web scraping stories feel free in using the comments section below. And if you have a project that requires scraping complicated data, feel free to contact me.