Scraping Data Using Octoparse for Product Assessment
This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.
Introduction on Octoparse
Hello, Data enthusiasts. I am thrilled to see you here to discuss another compelling use case which supports Data Analytics and Data-Science. As you all know that invariably you should not depend on the landing area, most of the time, the data from an external source is received either by pulled or pushed process from the data provider side and followed by landing them on your data lake layer. Later you can apply all cleaning techniques, data transformation techniques, and business rules on top of your Data; this is nothing but a data-preparation task. After all, it would be served for BI or AI layer individual business requirements.
Web Scrapping and Analytics
Yes! In some cases, we have e to grab the data from an external source using Web Scraping techniques and do all data torturing on top of the data to find the insight of the data with techniques.
Same time we do not forget to use to find the relationship and correlation between features and expand the other opportunities to explore further by applying mathematics, statistics, and visualisation techniques, on top of selecting and using machine learning algorithms and finding the prediction/classification/clustering to improve the business opportunities and prospects, this is a tremendous journey.
Focusing on excellent data collection from the right resource is the critical success of a data platform project. I hope you know that. In this article, let’s try to understand the process of gaining data using scraping techniques – zero code.
Before getting into this, I will try to understand a few things better.
touch basis the Data Science Lifecycle here (To know more, please visit https://editor.analyticsvidhya.com/preview/index?article_id=1217)
As I mentioned earlier, the Data Sources for DS/DA could be in from any data source. Here, our focus is on Web-Scraping processes.
What is Web-Scraping and Why?
Web-Scraping is the process of extracting data in diverse volumes in a specific format from a website(s) in the form of slice and dice for Data Analytics and Data Science standpoint and file formats depending on the business requirements. It would .csv, JSON, .xlsx,.xml, etc.. Sometimes we can store the data directly into the database.
Web-Scraping is critical to the process; it allows quick and economical extraction of data from different sources, followed by diverse data processing techniques to gather the insights directed to understand the business better and keep track of the brand and reputation of a company to align with legal limits.
Web Scraping Process
The first step is to request the target website(s) for the specific contents of a particular URL, which returns the data in a specific format mentioned in the programming language (or) script.
As we know, Parsing is usually applied to programming languages (Java..Net, Python, etc.). It is the structured process of taking the code in the form of text and producing a structured output in understandable ways.
The last part of scrapping is where you can download and save the data in CSV, JSON format or a database. We can use this file as input for Data Analytics and Data Science perspective.
There are multiple Web Scraping tools/software available in the market, and let’s look at a few of them.
In the market, many Web-Scraping tools are available, and let’s review a few of them.
ProWebScraper: ProWebScraper is one of the most powerful web-scraping tools and is web-based. It used to materialise with its classical customer service and cost-effectiveness. It helps us to extract data from website(s). and It’s designed to make the scraping process a completely uncomplicated exercise. Yes, it requires no coding, just pointing and clicking the required item, and the output will extract into our target dataset.
- Completely effortless exercise
- It can be used by anyone can who knows how to browse
- You can extract the desired data in a few seconds with simple clicks.
- It can scrape Texts, Table data, Links, Images, Numbers and Key-Value Pairs.
- It can scrape multiple pages.
- It can be scheduled based on the demand (Hourly, Daily, Weekly, etc.)
- Highly scalable, it can run multiple scrapers simultaneously and thousands of pages.
Let’s focus on Octoparse,
The web-Data Extraction tool, Octoparse, stands out from other devices in the market. You can extract the required data without coding, scrape data with modern visual design, and automatically scrapes the data from the website(s) along with the SaaS Web-Data platform feature.
Octoparse provides ready-to-use Scraping templates for different purposes, including Amazon, eBay, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, BestBuy and many more. It lets us tailor the scraper according to our requirements specific.
Compared with other tools available in the market, it is beneficial at the organisational level with massive Web- Scraping demands. We can use this for multiple industries like e-commerce, travel, investment, social, crypto-currency, marketing, real estate etc.
- Both categories could find it easy to use this to extract information from websites.
- ZERO code experience is fantastic.
- Indeed, it makes life easier and faster to get data from websites without code and with simple configurations.
- It can scrape the data from Text, Table, Web-Links, Listing-pages and images.
- It can download the data in CSV and Excel formats from multiple pages.
- It can be scheduled based on the demand (Hourly, Daily, Weekly, etc.)
- Excellent API integration feature, which delivers the data automatically to our systems.
Now time to Scrape eBay product information using Octoparse.
Getting product information from eBay, Let’s open the eBay and select/search for a product, and copy the URL
Before starting your journey, you should download Octoparse version 8.5.2 for this demo purpose (https://www.octoparse.com/download/windows)
In a few steps, we were able to complete the entire process.
- Open the target webpage
- Creating a workflow
- Scrapping the content from the specified web pages.
- Customizing and validating the data using review future
- Extract the data using workflow
Open Target Webpage
Let’s login Octoparse, paste the URL and hit the start button; Octoparse starts auto-detect and pulls the details for you in a separate window.
Creating Workflow and New-Task
Wait until the search reaches 100% so that you will get data for your needs.
During the detection, Octoparse will select the critical elements for your convenience and save our time.
After your verification on the page, click on Create Workflow.
Note: To remove the cookies, please turn off the browser tag.
Scrapping the Content from the Identified Web-page
Once we confirm the detection, the Workflow template is ready for configurations and data preview at the bottom. There you can configure the column as convenient (Copy, Delete, Customize the column, etc.,)
Customizing and Validating the Data using Review Future
You can add your custom field(s) in the Data preview window, import and export the data, and remove duplicates.
You can configure the list of columns as we require once done. you can preview the selected individual line item by clicking on the right side of the pane
Extract the Data using Workflow
On the Workflow window, based on your hit on each navigation, we could move around the web browser. – Go to the web page, Scroll Page, Loop Item, Extract Data, and you can add new steps.
We can configure time out, file format in JSON or NOT, Before and After the action is performed, and how often the action should perform. After the required configurations have been done, we could act and extract the data.
Save Configuration, and Run the Workflow
You can run it on your device or in the cloud.
Data Extraction – Process starts
Data ready to Export
Chose the Data Format for Further Usage
Saving the Extracted Data
Extracted Data is Ready in the Specified-format
Data is ready for further usage either in Data Analytics and Data Science
What is Next! Yes, no doubt about that, have to load in Jupiter notebook and start using the EDA process extensively.
So far, we have explored various aspects, and I am sure that you could be able to understand Data sources, Data processing, Data Science/ML lifecycle, What is Web-Scraping, the process involved in it, tools in the market, and its key features, along with very detailed steps to extract the product data from eBay using Octoparse, Here the quick summary of this article and take-away,
- Importance of Data Source
- Data Science Lifecycle
- What is Web Scrapping and Why
- The process involved in Web Scrapping
- Top Web Scraping tools and their overview
- Octoparse Use case – Data Extraction from eBay
- Data Extraction using Octoparse – detailed steps (Zero Code)
I have enjoyed this web-scraping tool and am impressed with its features; you can try and want it to extract free data for your Data Science & Analytics practice projects perspective.
The media shown in this article is not owned by Analytics Vidhya and is used at the Author’s discretion.