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Scraping web data in real-time from websites is of paramount importance for most companies.
It's usually the case that the more up-to-date information you have, the more choices available to you.
Scraping real-time websites can help support immediate decision making. For example, if a company sells clothes online, the company's website and customer service center need to know the most up-to-date data on inventory to prevent orders for items that are out of stock. If an item has only 5 in stock and the customer tries to purchase 6, or if a customer order is canceled due to style/color/ size of the item were unavailable, the customer can be notified and re-select another similar product, and a company can thus discover the best sellers online. But not all departments of the company need real-time data. Most companies can achieve their business goals by looking at long-term trends such as weekly or monthly business performance reports and annual comparisons. Similarly, the Finance department may need real-time data to analyze economic indicators or to make a budget vs. actual comparison.
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Another example to note is to scrape stock data in real-time from financial information sites such as Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and etc. To make investing easier, you need to get real-time stock quotes including stock price today, earnings and estimates, and other investing data displayed on many online information providers. To get the latest stock data and value a company’s stock, you need to stay on top of this website, keep an eye on these stock information and take immediate actions to the sudden changes of stock data to ensure your investment performs to expectation. The internet makes the process of scraping stock information easy, fast and free. It’s easy to scrape the stock data from these sites and make it available for your purpose of reusing it.
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Once you collect the data scraped, you want to have the data in hand by seamlessly connect the scraped data to your machine. API (application program interface) is a way to make that happen by enabling an application to interact with another system/library/software/etc. An API allows you to control and manage the data scraped - you can make a request for the data crawled and integrate them with your machines.
Imagine that you are ordering two salads at McDonald's drive-thru window (API), you will get the two salads (Data) at the exit after you’re done the ordering. There is an electronic board for drivers to choose the food they want to order and you will see the bill after completing the order. Similarly, when you request data via an API that is cloud-based whenever you want, you just make API calls and will get the data stored in the cloud immediately.
How to automate this process of scraping website content in real-time and get the information as you requested?
Octoparse and its web scraping API would be your best choice.
This freeware allows you to collect web data in real-time via Octoparse web scraping API.
You can schedule a task in Octoparse to scrape the real-time websites hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/etc. and connect the data scraped to your environment via the scraping API. With Octoparse scraping API, you can directly access all the real-time scraped data from scraping millions of websites on the Internet for your purpose of reusing it.
Author: The Octoparse Team