Buy Data for Your Business

4 min read

We are living in the big data era. And many people believe that data has become a key competitive weapon in the operational efficiency of business and investment. There is no doubt that many people have the needs of buying data. But how? In this post I will address you how to buy data for your business and factors that you should consider when buying data.

How to buy data for your business?

There are different methods to get the data you want.

1. Establishing your own platform

The first method that would be considered is to establish your own platform. You should hire a professional team to establish your own platform. It would be available if your companies need small data. Or the data in those target websites is not complex. For big data, you should hire more people to establish the platform and maintain the security of your system. It would be a high cost for most companies, and even for the big companies.

2. Buying the data directly

There are different data providers in different industries, which you could get the specific data you want. Or you could turn to the data service companies for help. Although they are not professionals in specific areas, they have the experience to get data online and have collected a great number of data. For example, BlueKai collects PC and smartphone users’ data to enhance ad marketing for their clients, and has about 700 million actionable profiles. You could directly purchase the data from this kind of company to optimize your business. It would be much easier. And you don’t need to hire well-paid engineers to establish and maintain your system. However, this method is more applicable to those companies who don’t need the real-time data all the time. Another problem is that everyone could get the same data as long as they have enough money to purchase the sources. Thus your strategies made for your business based on the same purchased data may not be as competitive as you expect.

3.Using the data extraction tools

Thanks to the quick development of technology, there are quite a few data tools available now. And most of them are designed for non-technical person, which means that extracting data is no longer the priority of programmers. Therefore, you could also use the data extraction tools like Octoparse, import.io and Mozenda yourself to get the data you want. This service would be more personalized as you could get any data you want specifically. Also, if you don’t know how to use the data extraction tool, you could ask a special custom service. For example, Octoparse provides custom service to help you extract the data you want directly or get the configuration rule (or crawler) in Octoparse, and thus you could easily extract the data. As for how to choose these tools, it depends on the traits of data extraction tools, your budgets, data volume and so on. However, such web scraping tools also need to maintain and upgrade constantly. And as some websites use many anti-web scraping techniques, you couldn’t get all the data you want by using such kind of web scraping tools. It is also not the perfect method to get data.

What should be considered before buying data?

I think the first factor needed to consider when buying data is whether you could get all the data needed without any other additional data solution supplements. No matter you purchase the data from data suppliers or get the data yourself by establishing the platform or using the data extraction tool.

The second factor is the cost, which would greatly affect what kind of methods you choose.

The third one is the speed and the quality of data delivery. How long it would take to get the data you want? How easy it is to add or expand the data volume?… Such problems are also worth thinking when buying data.

The last one is the length of data maintenance. How often will you get the updated data as some data are often updated? You need to make sure you have a sustainable data service in the long term.

How to choose the best method to buy data?

If you have enough budgets, the best way would be to hire some experts to establish the data platform. If not, you could buy the data from data provider or data service company. Or if you don’t need data constantly, you could just use the data extraction tools like Octoparse. If you are not familiar with such data extraction tools or want better service, you could choose custom service provided by data extraction companies.

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