Data extraction has gained popularity over the years. Today, Data-driven decisions have transformed how different companies make their strategic choices. According to a study, a business whose decision making is data-driven, experiences about 5-6% production growth. So what is data extraction? What are data extraction tools?
Proxies play a huge role when it comes to data extraction. Before we dig deep into data extraction, we need to understand what a proxy or a proxy server is.
Data extraction tools: What is a proxy server?
A proxy server is simply a gateway that exists between the internet and your device/computer. In other words, it is the intermediary server that separates the websites and the end-users. While using a proxy server, the request/traffic will go through the proxy server before reaching the requested/destination address. The response will again go through the same server before reaching your computer/device.
Every computer accessing the internet has an internet protocol (IP) address. A proxy server also has its different IP address. When you send out a request, the proxy server will send the request on your behalf. After making the request, the server will again collect the response from the web server in question before forwarding you the web page data for decoding.
By doing this, the proxy server will allow you to browse anonymously by hiding your real IP address. By masking your identity, the web page in question will not be able to trace your geo-location.
So, what is data extraction?
Data Extraction Tools: What Is Data Extraction?
Data extraction is a process that involves the use of data scraping tools to collect data that has been captured in unstructured and semi-structured sources. The extracted data can be used for reporting and analytics.
Why is data extraction necessary?
Importance of Data Extraction
Data extraction has a lot of disadvantages. Here are a few:
- Better decision making and analysis
- Improved accuracy
- Enhanced data accessibility
- Improved productivity, etc.
Data Extraction Tools
Web Scraping Tools
A web scraper enables a user to collect data from a web page or a website automatically. The scraped data can be stored in a target destination like an excel spreadsheet or a database. A web scraper can be used with a proxy server to bypass any geo-location restrictions. not sure what are the differences what is web scraping vs. what is web crawling – check out oxylabs.io article explaining it in great detail.
These type of extraction tools will leverage cloud computing to collect data from various sources to avail structured data for analysis and further processing.
On-Premise Data Extraction Tools
These type of extraction tools will collect data from multiple formats, which include real-time or batches, validate the data then write/store it in the preferred location.
Characteristics of an excellent data extraction tool
Which tool can you characterize as a being a useful extraction tool? An ideal data extraction tool should be essential for the management of data. The tool should be capable of transforming incoming data into something helpful in generating great business insights.
A great tool should:
- Be able to extract information in the different available formats – the most common formats include PDF, RTF, DOCX, DOC and TXT. A great tool should be able to handle unstructured, semi-structured, and structured formats from different disparate sources
- Be able to support real-time extraction of data – the tool in question should be able to provide timely data for the smooth operation of a business and better decision making
- Have a user-friendly/intuitive interface – the tool should be designed in such a way that users can effortlessly design specific templates for data extraction and secure handling of data
- Capable of creating reusable extraction templates – the idea extraction tool should provide the opportunity to develop an extraction logic which applies to any document of the same given layout. This saves the user the hassle of having to build a new logic every time there’s a new document coming in.
- Have an in-built cleansing and data quality function – a smart tool should have the capability to identify and clean data automatically according to the user needs
- Be able to export data to different common destinations – once data has been converted; the tool should allow users to export the data to various destinations for quick decision-making purposes. Such targets include PostgreSQL, Oracle, BI tools such as PowerBI & Tableau, and SQL server.
Some organizations today and many companies in the past relied on employees to do all the work that pertains data extraction and storage. Well, with data extraction tools, I must say that those days are soon going to be long forgotten. Human data extraction is prone to have some errors; man is to error, remember? With modern data extraction tools, extraction work can be done quickly, effectively, and error-free.