Web scraping is a skill that can be learned and mastered by anyone. Web scrapers are very much in demand these days because of the data-driven decision-making in businesses. Should you learn web scraping to make it a career in 2022? This article will help you make an informed decision.
What Is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is the process of extracting important data from different websites and social media sites. The data is stored in a readable and accessible format.
Firstly, the data is retrieved into an HTML format. Then it is parsed and converted into a simple format like CSV or JSON file. Then the file is stored in a local system for access.
Earlier these tasks were done manually and would take days. Now this work can be done automatically, thanks to technology. You can easily extract a large amount of data from websites, even if you don’t have any technical background.
If you want a custom web scraping or data mining solution, Alnusoft is currently offering Discounts.
Why should You Learn Web Scraping?
Web scraping is getting popular with each passing day. More and more companies and data scientists are willing to hire web scraping experts. So that they can extract data for them that will be helpful in making wise decisions.
Web scraping skill is high in demand, so you should learn them. It will open new doors of opportunities for you. It is not hard as it sounds. Once you get hold of it, you will be able to extract any kind of data from websites with ease.
Is Learning Web Scraping Worth It?
Web scraping is a useful skill in this highly competitive world. A world that generates and updates data every second. It is important to have the ability to read and extract that data for use. Since data scraping is useful for every kind of business. You will get a lot of job opportunities.
Hence, mastering web scraping skills can help you get a better job. You can also work as a freelancer and earn some extra bucks.
Without web scraping, it would be very difficult to extract a large amount for analysis and decision-making. For example, without automated tools like BeautifulSoup and Requests, Octoparse, or ParseHub. It would be very difficult to scrape S&P 500 historical data from Wikipedia.
We would have to manually copy and paste all the data from every page. This is a very boring, tiring, and time-consuming task. But, Thanks to these tools, we can scrape all the bulk data in seconds.
Is Web Scraping easy to learn?
Web scraping is easy! Even if you don’t know any programming language. You can still scrape data by using the right tools. Many automated tools have been developed that can help non-programmers scrape websites for valuable data.
Some of these tools are ParseHub and Octoparse.
ParseHub is an easy-to-learn free web scraper. It is a powerful visual data extraction tool for extracting data from websites. Best of all, ParseHub is very user-friendly and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
Using ParseHub is as easy as selecting the data you want to extract and clicking it.
Octoparse is a cloud-based web data extraction automated solution. It also helps users extract relevant data from websites without any coding. It enables users to scrape data from multiple websites and save it in different formats including Excel, HTML, and plain text.
How long does it take to learn web scraping – Python?
It depends on how much knowledge you have of Python. Depending on how much time you will allocate to learn this skill, it can take from 1 week to 1 year. Normally, it takes one to seven months to learn the basics of Python. This includes learning and understanding data structures, variables, objects, I/O functions, etc.
Web scraping with BeautifulSoup in Python course has video content of 1.5 hours. It will help you understand web scraping with Python very easily. They would be very easy to learn, as they are also very easy to use for someone who understands programming.
Do I need to know HTML for web scraping?
Well, before starting web scraping, you should first learn HTML. For extracting the right information, you have to right-click “inspect”. You will get to see a long never ending HTML code.
But Don’t worry. You don’t have to know HTML very deeply for extracting data.
Is Web scraping a good career?
Yes, web scraping has now become an essential skill in today’s world of digitalization. Web scraping data is not only important for tech companies but also for non-technical purposes.
How much do web scrapers make?
Some web scraping freelancers might charge you as low as $30/hour. Whereas some experienced freelance web scrapers might charge you $80/hour too.
Well, at ZipRecruiter, you can see that mostly the Web Scraper’s salaries range from $59,000 to $116,000 annually. Whereas, top and expert web scrapers across the United States (U.S) are also making $141,500 annually.
Is it legal to scrape websites?
So the question here is, is web scraping legal or illegal? Web scraping and crawling processes are not illegal. It is a very easy way of gathering data.
Web scraping is obviously legal, as long as you scrape publicly available data on the internet. You have to be careful while scraping personal data, confidential data, or intellectual property. Since these data are protected by international regulations.
So while web scraping data, respect your target websites and scrape data ethically.
Can I scrape data from any website?
In order to check whether a website allows web scraping or not. You should simply add robots. txt at the end of the targeted website URL. It will let you know if the website host allows you to scrape the website or not.
Always be careful about the copyrights of the data. And read the terms and conditions of the website.
It is safe to say that web scraping has become very popular now. It is an essential skill set in today’s world of digitalization.
If you wish to learn to code, you can learn Python and other programming languages. Then scrape the code from scratch yourself. Whereas automated web scraping tools are also becoming popular. For this Octoparse and ParseHuba are good options which have free and paid plans.