Web Scraping or Data Scraping involves the extraction of data and information from an HTML web page, saving it to a file on your local computer. Typically, a local file would be equivalent to an excel file or API. It assists in directing important information from the website.
In this article, we’ll discuss web scraping with VBA vs Python which is better?
VBA vs. Python
For Data Analysis there are many tools and techniques available in the market. (Visual Basic for Applications) VBA and Excel are the common tools that people first think of when discussing data analysis. However, with the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence over the past few years. Python has experienced a much faster growth rate.
Knowing which of these two languages is better for data analytics is an important task for a data analyst.
It is said that Python is more powerful and efficient than VBA, making it ideal for data analysis. Python data analysis offers greater version control as well. As Python was designed for large-scale projects. Whereas VBA is only useful for straightforward Excel automation.
Python is the preferable choice if you want to accomplish anything more complicated.
Python and other top data science languages are evolving at a faster rate than VBA. It is recommended that data analyst should use tools and languages that are more flexible for processing data. In spite of the fact that Office Scripts will work better with Excel and VBA, such as Power Automate. It is a popular idea among data analysts that Python is an emerging language in the field of data science and data engineering.
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Introduction to Visual Basic Applications:
VBA is an Excel programming language developed for Microsoft Office Applications. The Visual Basic programming language was created by Microsoft in the 1990s. It is essentially implemented in VBA. This language was created to enable communication between Microsoft programs.
Features of VBA:
It is used to automate tasks in Excel. For data analysis, VBA offers a complete environment for coding a program. You can write your own code, create your own routines, and automate processes.
Although VBA has many capabilities it has a great missing feature of Inheritance. It is an important feature of Object Oriented Programming. It is not an independent language as it requires a host application to run. Compared to other languages its features are limited to office applications only.
Introduction to Python:
Python is having high-level, general-purpose programming language. It is an open-source programming language created by Guido van Rossum. It is used to build websites and apps, and automate processes. It is also used for web scraping and data analysis.
Due to its versatility in handling a variety of tasks, its popularity has been rising quickly. It is a user-friendly language and is very easy to get started with. It is extensively used by big internet companies in various applications, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Google. Indeed, Python has the potential to be the programming language of the future.
Features of Python:
Python includes a large library with a variety of codes including web browsers, image editing, databases, email, etc.
There is no perfect programming language. Before investing your time in Python, you should be aware of some of its drawbacks.
- Python uses more memory than other languages because its data types are flexible. Therefore, Python should not be used for any memory-intensive tasks.
- As Python is an interpreted language. It takes time to compile programs in machine language which makes it slower in execution. Python also needs extra testing because it is a dynamically typed language.
Web Scraping with VBA vs Python
Python and VBA are both interpreted, high-level programming languages. The former is a general-purpose language, whereas the second one is created for a particular domain.
Python is also an open-source language, allowing users to modify the source code in their own way. VBA, on the other hand, is Microsoft-owned and proprietary, which means it doesn’t allow modification of the source code.
In the past few years, a sizable community of data professionals had adopted Python as their language of choice. There is no need to wait if you want to convert your VBA scripts to Python. Python allows you to create Excel scripts quickly and easily with only a few extra steps.
Python is the language of choice for anyone interested in starting a career in data analytics. It is not advised for aspiring data analysts to use VBA.
Big datasets cannot be processed with VBA, if you process a large amount of data with VBA, it may cause memory errors or exceptions. Terabytes of data can be processed easily with Python by using the Spark framework.
Will Python Replace VBA?
Yes, it can. Nowadays, every website or social media platform has a lot of data. Excel VBA is obsolete when it comes to handling big chunks of data. Python is emerging and marking its place as the new standard. Since it can do everything with big data, VBA can do it just in Excel.
Should I Learn Python or VBA first?
If you want to create standalone independent apps. Opt for Python. Whereas if you only want to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks. VBA is better then. Python is not difficult but learning VBA fundamentals are way easier.
Users that move from Excel to Python, get open source programming environment. It has a large online community and free libraries also.
To put it in a nutshell, Excel is a perfect tool for basic and quick analysis. Whereas, Python is full of tools, and methodologies for advanced analysis and automation. Hence python is definitely more powerful than VBA.
Both languages effectively do their responsibilities. VBA can be a good choice for beginners who are new to the field of data science. It can be used for a variety of Excel tasks. It includes copying workbooks and predicting sales and earnings. Along with making invoices and forms, reducing the time required for any repetitive Excel task.
Python is preferred over VBA primarily because it is a language that has a high scope in the future. Python can be easily integrated with other software programs and programming languages. Due to its wide variety of built-in Libraries.