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Data Scraping: Definition, How It Works, and Its Types

Last updated: Jan 27, 2023

What is Data Scraping?

Data scraping is a technique that allows someone to extract data from a particular website or system. It is usually also known as data extraction.

In general, data extraction is something that is used for several jobs related to digital marketing, such as content research.

One way that can be used to extract data is by utilizing the Application Programming Interface (API). The API allows you to access a site with a more structured data format.

However, this method won't work on a website or system that doesn't have an API or doesn't allow you to access its structured data.

How Does Scraping Work?

You can do data extraction by using special tools. There are many types of data extraction tools that you can use, but each tool has a different path. In general, the process for extracting data includes three stages:

  • Request: The process begins with a request to a particular website or system using the GET command. After that, the GET command will extract all data from the website or system.
  • Parse: In this process, the program will search for specific data, which will be identified using the scraping tools.
  • Display: After specific information has been found, the program will turn it into a report for further analysis. 

Some examples of tools for extracting data are Data Scraper, Data Scraping Crawler, and Data Miner. You can choose which tools you think are the easiest to operate.

Data Scraping Types

After knowing what scraping data is and how it works, you need to know what the types are.

In general, data extraction techniques are divided into two categories: screen scraping and web scraping. Let's check out the full explanation below.

1. Screen Scraping

Screen scraping is a data extraction technique whose data is obtained by analyzing the interface of a website. In general, this technique scrapes images, text, or other visual elements to form ideal data.

This screen scraping technique is usually used by large companies that want to store crucial data and store it for a long time. This technique is very suitable for data migration because screen scraping can access old data with a high degree of accuracy. 

2. Web Scraping

The next type of scraping is web scraping. Web scraping allows you to extract data from a website through HTML, CSS, and JavaScript source code. Apart from that, web scraping can also be done using the API provided by the website owner.

Basically, web scraping involves two elements, namely crawlers and scrapers. Crawler is an algorithm that searches for certain data. A scraper is a tool used to extract data from a website or a particular system.

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