Businesses face new challenges every now and then. But in 2021, the challenge was harder, giving organizations little room to maneuver. Most companies try to adapt to the new landscape by finding new ways or making the most of what is available. Although some aspects of commerce stopped for awhile, data continue to flow unabated, ever increasing. And one way for businesses to get back up and thrive once more is to make the most of big data with the use of data extraction tools.
What is data extraction software?
Data is useful because of the information it provides in the proper context. Today, data sources are abundant, but the information value in data is not readily available due to its unstructured or poorly structured format. Data extraction software is software that automates the retrieval and storage of unstructured or poorly structured data from various sources and transforms them to machine-readable data for further processing. Raw, unstructured data are available from data sources such as web pages, social media posts, emails, documents, chats, reports, forms, log files, and classified ads. To assign personnel to manually examine and extract unstructured big data is inefficient.
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The benefits of data extraction software
As more businesses undergo digital transformation to be more agile, resilient, and competitive, automated workflows such as the extraction of data have become vital business processes. The collection of data, transforming them into usable format, and applying them to other business processes such as marketing, sales, accounting, HR, and project management, becomes possible with data extraction as the initial step. Data extraction tools provide several benefits:
- Eliminates manual, error-prone processes and improves accuracy
- Reduces data entry time and increases employee productivity
- Improves data accessibility and improves visibility
- Maximizes automation to save time and reduce costs
- Facilitates the discovery of meaningful information to enable better decision making.
Best Data Extraction Tools & Software for 2021
Data extraction tools can be standalone software offering a specific function or be part of a system solution. The best data extraction software supports several unstructured document formats and can export in realtime the extracted data to other applications that can better manage and manipulate data. Most data extraction software can clean data automatically using rules-based controls with a friendly UI. Here is a list of highly rated data extraction software in no particular order.
Import.io is a web data integration software with data extraction, web harvesting, data preparation, and integration capabilities. Its web data extraction tools can convert websites into structured, usable data. It can learn to extract web data even if data is behind a login or image, or if interaction is needed. Users can record the sequences of the actions to be performed. After the extractors are trained, they can be automated to run on schedule over multiple different web pages to create big datasets that are ready to be transformed, analyzed, and integrated.
Scrapestorm is an AI-powered web scraping and web data extraction software. It is a visually operated, easy-to-use application that is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The software can automatically identify lists, forms, links, images, prices, phone numbers, and emails. A flowchart mode allows users to generate complex scraping rules in a few simple steps. It supports multiple export methods to export scraped data into Excel, CSV, TXT, HTML, MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, WordPress, and Google Sheets.
Webhose.io can turn unstructured web content into machine-readable data feeds. It can monitor and analyze media outlets in different languages, online discussions, blogs, reviews, and archived historical data, as well as data breaches and the dark web. The data extraction tool can help companies in their financial analysis, market research, media and web monitoring, machine learning, data breach detection, and cybersecurity threat intelligence.
Altair Monarch is a self-service data preparation solution. The desktop-based data extraction solution connects to multiple data sources, cleans, and manipulates both structured and unstructured data without the need for coding. It can convert disparate data formats from all sources including cloud and big data using over 80 ready-to-use data preparation functions to extract and prepare data quickly and error-free.
Diffbot offers several products including AI web data extraction APIs. The APIs can automatically extract data from articles, products, and discussions, among others. It uses AI technology to retrieve clean structured data without the need for manual rules or web-site specific training. The different extraction APIs can analyze page types, extract clean text, structure the full content of discussions and forum threads, or extract and analyze individual images.
Hubdoc is a document collection and management software that can turn paper and electronic documents into data. It can extract key information from receipts, invoices, bills, and other documents and convert them into usable data. Users can snap a photo of a document using its app, forward a document to a Hubdoc personalized email, or scan and upload a document to start the extraction process. It is ideal for financial documents to let users store their bills and statements into a central and secure hub.
ScrapingHub is a provider of web scraping services and developer tools. The data extraction tools are open source and ideal for developers, data scientists, and other data teams with web scraping projects. Tools include proxy management, a cloud platform for managing web crawlers, a headless browser specifically designed for web scraping, and automatic extraction APIs for articles and e-commerce data extraction.
Octoparse is a provider of web scraping tools and free web crawlers. Its automatic data extraction software can scrape web data without the need for coding. The software can turn web page data into structured data useful for price monitoring, lead generation, marketing, and research. The point-and-click UI uses ML algorithms to accurately locate data. A built-in browser lets users perform scraping tasks on all types of websites with click and drag.
Phantombuster is a provider of code-free automation and data extraction tools for emails, contact information, auto sending of messages, and CRM enrichment. It can turn any web page into a data source by automatically extracting data that can be used for a CRM, database, or social networks. Aside from extraction, it can also automate any action, create triggers and schedules to run automatically, and chain automations to build workflows.
UiPath is a robotic process automation software. It is a technology that allows user to configure software or robot to emulate and integrate human actions with digital systems to execute a business process. It provides reliable web data extraction or scraping software that can accurately scrape different types of websites, automate logins and navigations, and transform and deduplicate data with SQL and LING queries. The software can extract tabular and pattern-based data across multiple pages and export to various formats including Excel.