Wednesday, 30 November 2016

PDF Scraping: Making Modern File Formats More Accessible

PDF Scraping: Making Modern File Formats More Accessible

Data scraping is the process of automatically sorting through information contained on the internet inside html, PDF or other documents and collecting relevant information to into databases and spreadsheets for later retrieval. On most websites, the text is easily and accessibly written in the source code but an increasing number of businesses are using Adobe PDF format (Portable Document Format: A format which can be viewed by the free Adobe Acrobat software on almost any operating system. See below for a link.). The advantage of PDF format is that the document looks exactly the same no matter which computer you view it from making it ideal for business forms, specification sheets, etc.; the disadvantage is that the text is converted into an image from which you often cannot easily copy and paste. PDF Scraping is the process of data scraping information contained in PDF files. To PDF scrape a PDF document, you must employ a more diverse set of tools.

There are two main types of PDF files: those built from a text file and those built from an image (likely scanned in). Adobe's own software is capable of PDF scraping from text-based PDF files but special tools are needed for PDF scraping text from image-based PDF files. The primary tool for PDF scraping is the OCR program. OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, programs scan a document for small pictures that they can separate into letters. These pictures are then compared to actual letters and if matches are found, the letters are copied into a file. OCR programs can perform PDF scraping of image-based PDF files quite accurately but they are not perfect.

Once the OCR program or Adobe program has finished PDF scraping a document, you can search through the data to find the parts you are most interested in. This information can then be stored into your favorite database or spreadsheet program. Some PDF scraping programs can sort the data into databases and/or spreadsheets automatically making your job that much easier.

Quite often you will not find a PDF scraping program that will obtain exactly the data you want without customization. Surprisingly a search on Google only turned up one business, (the amusingly named that will create a customized PDF scraping utility for your project. A handful of off the shelf utilities claim to be customizable, but seem to require a bit of programming knowledge and time commitment to use effectively. Obtaining the data yourself with one of these tools may be possible but will likely prove quite tedious and time consuming. It may be advisable to contract a company that specializes in PDF scraping to do it for you quickly and professionally.

Let's explore some real world examples of the uses of PDF scraping technology. A group at Cornell University wanted to improve a database of technical documents in PDF format by taking the old PDF file where the links and references were just images of text and changing the links and references into working clickable links thus making the database easy to navigate and cross-reference. They employed a PDF scraping utility to deconstruct the PDF files and figure out where the links were. They then could create a simple script to re-create the PDF files with working links replacing the old text image.

A computer hardware vendor wanted to display specifications data for his hardware on his website. He hired a company to perform PDF scraping of the hardware documentation on the manufacturers' website and save the PDF scraped data into a database he could use to update his webpage automatically.

PDF Scraping is just collecting information that is available on the public internet. PDF Scraping does not violate copyright laws.

PDF Scraping is a great new technology that can significantly reduce your workload if it involves retrieving information from PDF files. Applications exist that can help you with smaller, easier PDF Scraping projects but companies exist that will create custom applications for larger or more intricate PDF Scraping jobs.


Saturday, 26 November 2016

Scrape amazon and price your product the right way – A use case

Scrape amazon and price your product the right way – A use case

So you built a product that you want to sell through Amazon.

How do you price your product? 

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Millions of products are sold through amazon.  a lot of people make their living selling through Amazon. One of the biggest mistake people do in Amazon is that they price their product the wrong way. Sometimes they sell overpriced products, sometimes they sell the underpriced product. Both situations are toxic for the business.

We recently worked with a company that helps small businesses sell the products efficiently through amazon and other marketplaces. One of the key things they are doing is helping people with pricing their product the right way.

What I learned from them is that price is a relative term and a lot of people does not understand it. Pricing is a function of the positioning of  your product in the market.

We need to collect the data using  a technique called web scraping to understand how to position the product. You can get the  data in a CSV file which can be used for analysis.

1) What is the average price of a comparable product?

Understanding the pricing  strategy of your competitors products  is the first step in solving the problem. This can give you a range in which you can price your product. You can get the pricing data by scraping amazon

2) Is this a premium product?

People always pay a premium price for a premium product. What makes a product premium? – A product is considered premium only when the customer believe it is worth the price. Excellent marketing and branding are the ways to position your product as a premium product. You can get the relevant data by scraping amazon.

3) What are the problems with your competitor products?

Your competitor products might be having some defects. Or they might not be addressing a relevant problem. You have every chance of success If you are solving a problem that your competitor doesn’t. You can find these problems by analyzing the product reviews of your competitors. You can get review data by scraping amazon.

By analyzing data you can reach at a point where your profit margin looks healthy and pricing looks sensible. Buyers buy the value, not your product. Differentiate your product and position it as a superior product. Give people a reason to buy and that is the only way to succeed.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Why Outsourcing Data Mining Services?

Why Outsourcing Data Mining Services?

Are huge volumes of raw data waiting to be converted into information that you can use? Your organization's hunt for valuable information ends with valuable data mining, which can help to bring more accuracy and clarity in decision making process.

Nowadays world is information hungry and with Internet offering flexible communication, there is remarkable flow of data. It is significant to make the data available in a readily workable format where it can be of great help to your business. Then filtered data is of considerable use to the organization and efficient this services to increase profits, smooth work flow and ameliorating overall risks.

Data mining is a process that engages sorting through vast amounts of data and seeking out the pertinent information. Most of the instance data mining is conducted by professional, business organizations and financial analysts, although there are many growing fields that are finding the benefits of using in their business.

Data mining is helpful in every decision to make it quick and feasible. The information obtained by it is used for several applications for decision-making relating to direct marketing, e-commerce, customer relationship management, healthcare, scientific tests, telecommunications, financial services and utilities.

Data mining services include:

  •     Congregation data from websites into excel database
  •     Searching & collecting contact information from websites
  •     Using software to extract data from websites
  •     Extracting and summarizing stories from news sources
  •     Gathering information about competitors business

In this globalization era, handling your important data is becoming a headache for many business verticals. Then outsourcing is profitable option for your business. Since all projects are customized to suit the exact needs of the customer, huge savings in terms of time, money and infrastructure can be realized.

Advantages of Outsourcing Data Mining Services:

  •     Skilled and qualified technical staff who are proficient in English
  •     Improved technology scalability
  •     Advanced infrastructure resources
  •     Quick turnaround time
  •     Cost-effective prices
  •     Secure Network systems to ensure data safety
  •     Increased market coverage

Outsourcing will help you to focus on your core business operations and thus improve overall productivity. So data mining outsourcing is become wise choice for business. Outsourcing of this services helps businesses to manage their data effectively, which in turn enable them to achieve higher profits.