Data Scraping Write For Us
Data scraping, or web scraping, is importing information from the web into a spreadsheet or local file stored on your computer. It is one of the most effective ways to get data from a website and, in some cases, redirect that data to another website. Popular uses of data scraping include:
- Web content research/business intelligence
- Prices for travel booker sites/price comparison sites
- Prospecting/conducting market research by browsing public data sources (e.g., Yell and Twitter)
- Sending product data from an e-commerce site to another online retailer (e.g., Google Shopping)
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And this list only scratches the surface. Data download has many applications – it is helpful in almost any situation where data needs to be moved from one place to another.
The basics of data scraping are fairly easy to master. Let’s walk through how to set up a simple data scraping action using Excel.
Data Scraping with Dynamic Web Queries in Microsoft Excel
Setting up a dynamic web query in Microsoft Excel is an easy and versatile data scraping method that allows you to set a data source from an external website (or multiple websites) into a spreadsheet.
- Open a new workbook in Excel
- Click the cell you want to import data into
- Click on the “Data” tab.
- Click “Get External Data.”
- Click on the “From the Web” symbol.
- Notice the small yellow arrows that appear at the top left of the web page and next to certain content
- Paste the URL of the website from which you want to import data into the address bar (we recommend choosing a website where the data remain displayed in tables)
- Click “Go.”
- Click the yellow arrow next to the data you want to import
- Click “Import.”
- The “Import Data” dialog will appear.
- Click “OK” (or change the cell selection if you want)
Following these steps, you should now see the data from the site listed in your spreadsheet.
The great thing about dynamic web queries is that they don’t just import data into your table as a one-time operation; they insert it, meaning the table is regularly updated with the latest data version as it appears on the source site. That’s why we call them dynamic.
To configure how regularly your dynamic web query updates the data it imports, go to “Data,” then “Properties,” then select a frequency (“Refresh every X minutes”).
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