The first thing that will help you to determine if it is worth investing in data mining is the size of data that you want to obtain. If you want to gather a huge amount of data then this is the most cost effective approach to do so. You may want to obtain data for an online catalog with more than a thousand categories. Doing this manually will end up wasting so much time and there is a possibility of errors which compromise the whole process.
Secondly, do you require detailed content? If you do then custom web scraping is the most effective way to obtain it. If you need to obtain any data regarding not only the pricing of your competition but also the detailed specifications of their products, screen scraping technology can help you to do this accurately and effectively. Always consider the type of content that you want to obtain from this process to determine whether this is the right approach for you or not.
Thirdly, how often does the data change? There are cases whereby you need to monitor your competitor’s prices frequently because of the continuous data refreshes. You need a reliable system that will give you accurate real time data so that you do not end up relying on outdated information to structure your pricing.
What is your budget? Today, there are many companies that offer web scraping which is why the service is offered at a very reasonable rate. In fact, this is one of the most cost effective approaches to obtain accurate competitor data within a very short time. If you are a small business investing in competitor price monitoring then this is a feasible approach for you to take.
Custom web scraping can turn your business around if you make good use of the collected information. For instance, you can use the information to predict the market changes and make certain moves before your competition. You can notice market trends that will give you a competitive advantage. In fact, you can perform all the necessary market research from the collected information.
Early data collection methods were ineffective, inaccurate, costly and time consuming, but data mining companies have changed all this. There is software which scrapes web data automatically and records them in different formats. You can get the data in graphical representation or tabled data for easy analysis. Good thing is custom web scraping allows you to personalize the service to meet your unique business needs.