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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Six Tools to Make Data Scraping More Approachable

What is data scraping?

Data scraping is a technique in which a computer program/software extracts data from a website, so it can be used for other purposes.Scraping may sound a little intimidating, but with the help of scraping tools, the process can be a lot more approachable. The tools are used to capture data you need from specific web pages quicker and easier.

Let your computer do all the work

It takes only a few minutes for systems to recognize each others codes even in huge databases. Computers have their own language and that is why some of these tools make it easier to pull and format information in a way that is simpler for people to reuse.

Here is a list of some data scraping tools:


What makes this tool so likable is the business-friendly approach. Tools like Diffbot are perfect for searching through competitors work and the performance of your own webpage. Get product data from images, articles, discussions, web crawling tools and process websites. If you like how this sounds, see for yourself and sign up for their 14-day free trial. can help you easily get the information from the any source on the web. This tool can get your data in less than 30 seconds, depending on how complicated the data is and its structure in the website.  It can also be used for multiple URL scraping at once.

Here is one example: Which city of California based organizations try to hire the most through Linkedin? Check this list of jobs available in linkedin, download a csv file, sort from A to Z the cities and voila – San Francisco it is. Did you know that it’s for free?


Kimono gives you easy access to APIs created for various web pages. No need to write any code or install any software to extract data. Simply paste the URL into the website or use a bookmark. Select how often you want the data to be collected and it saves it for you.


ScraperWiki gives you two choices – extract data from PDFs or build your own scraping tool in PHP, Ruby and Python language. It is meant for more experienced users and offers consulting (a paid service) if you need to learn some coding to get what you need. The first two PDF files are analyzed and reorganized for free, afterwards it’s a paid solution.

Yes, does grab something. It takes information that is meaningful to you. The tool extracts data from the web, then converts videos into animated GIF that you can use on your website or application. This tool was made for those who code in ASP.NET, Java, JavaScript, Node.js, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby languages.


If programming is the language you love the most, then use Python to build your own scraping tool and get the data from a page you want to explore. It is particularly useful if the other tools don’t recognize the data you need.

If you haven’t used this tool before, follow this playlist of videos to learn how to use Python for web scraping:

If you want more tools, look into the Common Crawl organization. It is made for those who are interested in the data crawling world. Need a more specific tool? DMOZ and KDnuggets have lists of other tools for web data mining.

All of these tools extract information in spreadsheet formats and that is why this webinar about how to work with data in Excel can help you understand more about what to do if you desire  to supply the world with unique and beautifully data visualizations.

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