“The more you know about someone, the better you can engage with them and the more relevant you can make the communications that you send to them, so our job is to use data to understand audiences.”
— Alexander Nix,Cambridge Analytic’s chief executive
We all benefit from big data in the new age of data. The data is just out there for you to get more creative from it. For instance, it’s obvious that the future of political campaigning will rely more and more on the data online to help reach voters more effectively.
With the help of right big data technology and data scientists, a businessman like Donald Trump could argue with a senior politician who were a lawyer in the 2016 United States presidential debate. A London-based company named Cambridge Analytica was paid by the Trump team about $5 million to help target voters in last September alone. They gave advice to Trump’s campaign to exploit big data — extracting big data from social networks and other big databases that is available to them, and a robust analysis of psychographic data of every voter who is somewhat susceptible to a campaign’s messages that is tiny enough to target every voter.
Both the Trump’s campaign and the Hillary’s campaign attache great importance to big data extraction; big data experts use various techniques to collect the data with their own web crawlers online and offline to support their campaigns in the game before analyzing data extracted and making predictions. For example, Trump’s campaign analyzed Hillary’s debates over the past ten years in looking for her weaknesses and customary action based on historical data extracted and big data technologies.
In the fierce competition for market share, the more you understand your ideal customers deeply and cater to their individual needs in-depth , the more likely you are to be able to beat the opponent in the competition. Big data allows companies to better understand their customers – what interests them, what needs they may have, what goods and services may be important to them, or what factors of a product they care about, etc. It’s critical to build customer profiles for making a successful marketing strategy.
Gaining a comprehensive insight for your business strategy is based on the data volume you collected. The more data you have the more confident you’ll be in making a good decision. For most companies to get better at understanding their market, they will either hire/build a web scraping team for big data extraction or use some big data extraction tools/service for gathering data. For startups, they will likely to create a web scraper/crawler using some script or use some free big data extraction tools to get as much data as needed.
However, the legality of big data extraction is something to consider before scraping content from websites. Thought this kind of things is still in flux, we need to keep in mind that it’s necessary to read the Terms & Conditions agreement of the site you’re scraping and the copyright infringement before extracting big data from websites. For example, LinkedIn prohibits extracting LinkedIn data in its Terms of Service and implements anti-scraping mechanism on its sites. In short, the legality depends on what you do with the big data you extracted, so just proceed with caution when extracting big data online.