With the rise of big data, business owners are acknowledging the power of information. The availability of large volumes of data has changed the way they make vital decisions in the business.
It has impacted their customer relations, improved their competitive strategies, and helped in the production of customer responsive products.
The only problem has been in the quantity of data that needs to be collected and the fact that this data is continually changing. However, automated methods of data gathering have resolved these issues.
How is Automated Data Collection Carried Out?
Data collection refers to the process by which businesses extract data from websites; web scraping refers to the automation of this process. The process is fast and occurs in real-time. By analyzing the data gathered, businesses are able to answer specific questions and make predictions.
It makes use of software known as a web scraper or scraping tool that collects data from web pages and imports it into a local file in the computer or database.
Data scrapers make use of proxies, which are essential for three main reasons
- Preventing websites from detecting and banning the scraping tool
- Accessing geo-blocked websites
- Obtaining extensive results from a specific geographical area through a local search
So, how is a proxy able to achieve all these?
A proxy refers to a server application that makes web requests and receives responses on behalf of a device. It masks details such as the device’s location and IP address. This is possible because a proxy server comes attached with a unique IP address and location.
By scraping data using a device that is installed with a proxy server, you can avoid alerting website owners when extracting data from their site. And you can use IP proxies attached to a specific location to get more geographically specific data as well as access geo-blocked websites.
How Has Data Gathering Impacted Businesses?
Let’s look at six ways gathering data has changed the world of business.
1) Better Pricing Strategies
Setting a competitive price is one of the significant decisions every business has to make. You have to set a price lower than your competitors to attract price-sensitive customers. But it should not be so low that other consumers doubt the quality of your products.
Gathering data on the prices that your consumers are offering provides the guidance needed to strike a balance between profitability and competitiveness.
2) Improved SEO
Improving your SEO ranking is one sure way of attracting organic traffic to your site and increasing conversion. But it is not as straightforward as many digital marketers make it sound. You have to find the search terms that people use.
You can find the right keywords by gathering data from organic search results and your SEO competitors.
3) Customer Intelligence
Customer intelligence refers to collecting data about your customers’ preferences and actions, which makes it easier to predict their behavior. With this information, you can create products and services that meet their needs. It involves collecting data, such as reviews and feedbacks.
Customer intelligence will help your business build better relationships with customers, cultivate loyalty, and encourage referrals.
4) Better Marketing Strategies
Data collection is enabling companies to know the marketing strategies that consumers respond to best. You can learn how they are engaging with your marketing strategies and make adjustments accordingly. With this knowledge, you can optimize on what works, rather than operating on hit-or-miss.
An effective marketing strategy will improve your sales, give you an edge over your competition, and ensure proper utilization of resources.
5) Monitoring Competition
Unexpected moves from your customers can result in substantial losses in terms of market share and profitability. This is what makes competitive research important. Gathering data from your competitors’ websites helps you stay updated on their moves, and you can stay prepared.
You can also learn from their mistakes. By assessing the strategies that they apply and fail, you can improve on your approach and prevent similar losses.
6) Increasing Sales
The web is a rich source of info, and this data includes contact information of prospective customers. Websites such as LinkedIn and yellow pages are an excellent resource to find relevant leads.
Marketing to these leads directly improves your chances of getting a positive response compared to a generalized marketing campaign. And this translates to increased sales and profitability.
Gone are the days when businesses had to employ personnel to copy data from the internet and paste it into spreadsheets. Thanks to technology, the errors and inefficiency associated with this process have been replaced with automation.
Efficient data gathering has improved the decision-making process in issues such as product creation and pricing.
Businesses have been able to stay competitive by monitoring competition, improving SEO ranking, generating leads, and carrying out better marketing. Through data collection, companies have been able to enhance customer experience by meeting their needs.
The rise of data gathering has improved the way businesses operate, and with the continued increase in data size, there are more benefits to come.