3 Ways to Scrape Financial Data WITHOUT Python

5 min read

The Financial market is a place of risks and instability. It’s hard to predict how the curve will go and sometimes, for investors, one decision could be a make-or-break move. That’s why experienced practitioners never lose track of financial data.

We human beings are wired to see in the short term. Unless we have a database with data in good structure, we are not able to get a handle on voluminous information. Data scraping is the solution that gets complete data at your fingertip. We will talk about how to scrape financial data without coding and the financial data web scraping benefits.

Why Scrape Financial Data

What types of financial data can we scrape?

When it comes to scraping financial data, stock market data is in the spotlight of attention. But there’s more, trading prices and changes in securities, mutual funds, futures, cryptocurrencies, etc. Financial statements, press releases, and other business-related news are also sources of financial data that people will scrape.

How can web scraping financial data help?

Financial data, when extracted and analyzed in real-time, can provide wealthy information for investments and trading. And people in different positions scrape financial data for varied purposes.

Stock market prediction

Stock trading organizations leverage data from online trading portals like Yahoo Finance to keep records of stock prices. This financial data help companies to predict the market trends and buy/sell stocks for the highest profits. Same for trades in futures, currencies and other financial products. With complete data at hand, cross-comparison becomes easier and a bigger picture manifests.

Equity research

“Don’t put all the eggs in one basket.” Portfolio managers do equity research to predict the performance of multiple stocks. Data is used to identify the pattern of their changes and further develop an algorithmic trading model. Before getting to this end, a vast amount of financial data will involve in the quantitative analysis.

Sentiment analysis of financial market

Scraping financial data is not merely about numbers. Things can go qualitatively. We may find that the presupposition raised by Adam Smith is untenable – people are not always economic, or say, rational. Behavioral economics reveals that our decisions are susceptible to all kinds of cognitive biases, plainly, emotions.

Using the data from financial news, blogs, relevant social media posts and reviews, financial organizations can perform sentiment analysis to grab people’s attitude towards the market, which can be an indicator of the market trend.

How to Scrape Financial Data without Python

Python may be the best method for web scraping, but you can’t do anything if you know nothing about coding. Luckily, there are many web scraper tools to help you scrape financial data without coding skills. Octoparse is such a financial data scraper that is also almost free to use. It has auto-detecting mode, so you can finish the scraping process easily and quickly. What’s more, you can customize a more professional process with some clicks.

In the following parts, we will take Yahoo Finance site as an example. Besides, there are lots of financial data sources with up-to-date and valuable information you can scrape from, such as Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNNMoney, Morningstar, TMXMoney, etc. All these sites are HTML codes in nature, which means that all the tables, news articles, and other texts/URLs can be extracted in bulk by Octoparse.

Method 1: Scrape financial data with a preset template

Download and install Octoparse, you can type Yahoo into the homepage and search for the template. Or click on the “New” tab on the left side, and choose “Task Template” option. You’ll enter the templates page, you can find all related financial templates under the “Finance” category.

The Yahoo Finance template offered by Octoparse is designed to scrape the Cryptocurrency data. You can preview the sample data to see which data can you get by using this template. And then, no more configuration is required. Simply click “Try it” and you will get the table data in minutes.

Method 2: Build a crawler from scratch to extract financial data

The template mode is fast but it’s an advanced function. If you want to scrape for free, you can build a crawler from scratch in 2 steps, it’s also very simple. A customized crawler is highly flexible in terms of data extraction. This method is also workable to scrape any other web pages.

Step 1: Enter the web address to build a crawler

Copy and enter the target web page link, Octoparse will load the auto-detecting mode in the built-in browser. You can customize the data field with the tips shown.

Step 2: Execute the crawler to get data

When your desired data are all highlighted in red, save the settings and run the crawler. As you can see in the pop-up, all the data are scraped down successfully. Now, you can export the data into Excel, JSON, CSV, or to your database via APIs.

scrape financial data with octoparse

Method 3: Financial data scraping services

If you are scraping financial data from time to time in a rather small amount, help yourself with handy web scraping tools. You may find joy in building your own crawlers. However, if you are in need of voluminous data for a profound analysis, say millions of records, and have a high standard of accuracy, it is better to hand your scraping needs to a group of reliable web scraping professionals.

Why data scraping services deserve?

  • Time and energy-saving

The only thing you would bother is to convey clearly to the data service provider what data you want. Once this is done, the data service team will deal with the rest of all, no hassle. You can plunge into your core business and do what you are good at. Let professionals get the scraping job done for you.

  • Zero learning curve & tech issues

Even the easiest scraping tool takes time to master. The ever-changing environment in different websites may be hard to deal with. And when you are scraping on a large scale, you may encounter issues such as IP ban, low speed, duplicate data, etc. Data scraping service can free you from these troubles.

  • No legal violations

If you are not paying enough attention to the terms of service of the data sources you are scraping from, you may get yourself into trouble. With the support of experienced legal counsel, a professional web scraping service provider works in accordance with laws and the whole scraping process will be implemented in a legitimate manner.

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