This article represents my thoughts on why one would want to use this web data scraping tool, named as import.io. I must say that I am glad I found this tool for data scraping. Please feel free to comment/suggest if I missed to mention one or more important points. Also, sorry for the typos.
- Key aspects of Import.io
- Reasons Why One Must Try Import.io for their next Data Scraping Project
- Use-cases where Import.io scraping tool could be used
Key Aspects of Import.io Tool
Import.io is a cloud-based web scraping tool which could act as a boon for those looking to have requirements of frequent data scraping or in particular, data scientists who want data from web at regular interval in a specific tabular format. Following are key aspects of Import.io tool.
- Extractor: With extractor, one could extract tabular data from a web page. Its as simple as clicking on a column and assign it a label. And, then, do this repeatedly for as many column as you want. Check this page for further information.
- Connector: Using connector method, one could get structured data from a search result. Check this page for more information.
- Crawler: Using crawler, one could train the tool to extract data by using 5 or more pages. Once done, one could crawl several similar pages at once and get the data in easy and quick manner.
Reasons Why One Must Try Import.io for their next Data Scraping Project
I have created quite a few custom data scraping tool and abondoned it for various reasons. I have always been craving for a tool which could have allowed me to quickly create a script and run it without having to install anything on my computer. This is when I came across Import.io tool. For me, it is a god-gift as I have started doing data scraping in so very easy manner that I can not express. I would sincerely like to thank the import.io team who created this tool.
Following are some of the reasons why one would want to use Import.io tool for data scraping:
- UI-driven: The tool is completely UI-driven. This essentially means that one could click on different places on the page, and assign the data to different columns. Once done, one could do the same task for different pages and train the system (when using import.io crawler). Once done training wiht 5 or more pages, one could run the crawler and get the data. This whole workflow should not take more than flat 15-20 minutes and you have the data scrapping API (whatimport.io guys call) ready for on-demand extraction.
- Few-clicks driven: There are features such as APIs from URL 2.0 which helps you to quickly create an extractor for a page in no time within few clicks.
- Cloud-based: The fact that it cloud-based makes it lot more attractive. One just needs to use few UIs to create APIs and that is it. Once created the API, one could run the API and get the data on import.io cloud.
- User-friendly: I would say its absolutely easy for anyone to learn it quickly and start using it in no time.
- Write once, run anytime: It is created in a manner that one could create APIs and execute the APIs with different URLs to extract data from same or different similar pages.
Use-cases where Import.io scraping tool could be used
Following is why one may want to use this tool by import.io tool.
- General data scraping needs: Great tool for extracting data from one or more web pages. Especially for freelancers, this would acts as a boon.
- Data analytics: Data scientists who want a quick way to retrieve different data sets from one or more web pages must learn using this tool. As a matter of fact, I would as well recommend them to buy subscription version.
- Web directories creation: One looking for creating directory of information would love this tool very much. Examples could be product data scraping for ecommerce website, recipes scraping, real-estate data scraping etc