There are many ways to gather data for business purposes. Some businesses rely on surveys. Others have advanced analytics tools connected to all of their own channels. In recent years, however, businesses are starting to use public data more. There are some very good reasons why the trend is growing.
For starters, there is more public data to access these days. Anything from social media posts to publications and white papers can be sources of valuable data. When processed further, details collected from public data points can be even more valuable than the business data gathered from analytics tools.
At the same time, there are more ways to tap into public data. More specifically, there are ways to make public data more accessible for businesses. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the things companies can do to gain access to those data points.
The Era of Residential Proxies
One of the components that make public data more accessible for businesses is a proxy. Many of the data sources limit access to their pages based on IP addresses. When you start accessing a large number of pages using the same IP address, the data source will flag your traffic as suspicious. You can end up with your IP address blocked from entering the site again.
Residential proxies solve this problem by directing your traffic through millions of residential IP addresses. Service providers have smart proxy networks with thousands of IP addresses, and you can use multiple networks to completely anonymize your web scraping operation.
You can go a couple of steps further with your use of residential proxies. For example, you can use IP addresses from a certain area only. This means residential proxies are the best for accessing valuable data sources and gaining data sets that wouldn’t be available otherwise. If you’re looking for a reliable residential proxy provider, read this residential proxies review by Proxyway.
Web scraping tools are also becoming smarter. Rather than collecting everything, you can target specific types of data and data sources. This means you can keep your web scraping operation legitimate by only tapping into data sets that are publicly available. Social media posts on public accounts, for instance, can be accessed freely.
Targeted is the keyword here. There is no point in collecting large amounts of data if it doesn’t serve a specific purpose. For businesses, that would be a complete waste of valuable resources. Instead of collecting everything, there are ways to refine the web scraping algorithm to find specific information such as competitors’ digital marketing activities.
Legitimate scraping can lead to many insights. Simply understanding the social media trends of your target market allows you to refine your content and make your social media posts more engaging. You can also tailor the user experience you deliver based on the kind of comments users make in the wild. Data enriching and other ops are also possible.
Scraping in the Cloud
That leads us to the sheer volume of data that can be collected from public sources. Running on-premise web scraping operations is no longer viable or efficient. The best way to fully take advantage of residential proxies and web scraping is by setting up the operation to run in the cloud. Some of the web scraping tools offered as services use this approach.
When you use cloud computing to power your web scraping operation, you immediately gain a number of benefits. For starters, you don’t have to make a big investment in hardware since you only need to pay for the resources you use. Integrating the residential proxy services is also easier when the tools are running in the cloud using a reliable internet backbone.
And there are the storage options. Cloud storage is more affordable than ever, allowing you to store terabytes of data without breaking your budget. Using multiple CPU cores to process that data is also cost-efficient. Plus, you can access the insights generated from that processing no matter where you are.
An Alternative to Consider
Last but certainly not least, there is the fact that data is how businesses stay competitive on the market. With the market being as competitive as it is today, knowing how customers or competitors behave gives your business a huge competitive advantage. You can’t afford to miss it. It makes your entire business more adaptive to market changes.
Web scraping is more accessible than ever. And residential proxies certainly make web scraping easier. There is no need to make big investments or spend a lot of money to run web scraping operations either. With just a few clicks, you can have your proxies ready and your web scraping tools collecting valuable data from public sources.