Business Data Analytics: Getting Better Data With Proxies
With over 4.2 billion people using social media and nearly the entire world making use of the internet in one way or the other, it is a given that no matter the type of business you run, your customers are on the internet. So the question is, how do you pick them out of the above-mentioned billions? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff (no offense to the chaff, I love chaff. Wonderful stuff)? With data, of course. One of the most wonderful things about the internet is that users leave footprints, and these footprints can tell you a lot about the life of the owner. But then another question comes up. How do you get access to these digital footprints? How do you access and collect the data your potential customers are leaving all over the internet in a single place for easy analysis? Here’s where data collection methods like web scraping come in and along with them supporting methods like proxies.
Since the internet has made geographical barriers useless in terms of business patronage, collecting business data from across the internet even with specialized methods like web scraping might require a little bit of assistance to transcend internet restrictions and geographical barriers to enable you to access data from all corners of the internet for comprehensive business intelligence and analytics strategy. This is what proxies help you do.
In this article, we’ll look at the value of business data to your business and how to build an effective business data analytics strategy using web scraped data from all corners of the internet. Stick with me.
Table of Contents
The Value of Business Intelligence and Analytics
In a world that currently relies on data for everything from forecasting the weather to generating traffic signals, it would be a mistake of gigantic proportions to underestimate the value of business intelligence and analytics to your business. The entire world has gone digital and the only way to navigate the digital world is with data. From customer relations, to lead generation, marketing, sales, and even employee management, you need a lot of business data to successfully run a business. For example, say you are looking to expand your business into another state or city. You need data on the number of potential competitors already on the scene in that location, the best locations to site your business, data on supply chain considerations, even population and racial data. Depending on what you sell or the service you offer, any of these data sets could be the difference between you launching your new branch successfully or getting shoved out of the market after a few months.
But obtaining the data is not enough. You need to analyze it and extract insights that you can apply directly to your business and make decisions upon. Continuing our example above, say you are looking to open a new branch for your Mexican restaurant in a new town. You carry out a survey and find out that there is no Mexican restaurant previously existing in that town. A straightforward look at the data returned from this survey would tell you that it is a good idea to open the branch since there are no competitors. However, a closer analysis of the restaurant scene and eating habits of the inhabitants of the town might show that the reason for the absence of competitors is only a minority of the town’s residents are interested in Mexican food, which means unless you can create a high-priced exclusive offer that this minority can afford to keep your business running, then your restaurant won’t survive in that town. This is a simplified example of how valuable accurate business data and proper analysis can be to your business.
Over the last decade, the business intelligence and analytics industry have really boomed with a lot of businesses and organizations looking for more and more ways to integrate web data into their business operations and stay ahead of competitors. According to a recent survey carried out by Deloitte, 96% of respondents feel that analytics will become vital to their business operations within the next three years. This is a significant indicator of just how quickly businesses are adopting business data analytics into their business processes for better operations.
Business Data Collection Tools and Methods
The history of business data collection tools has come a really long way, with new tools being explored for every boom in the volume and value of data available to businesses. At first, only the really big companies could afford to invest in collecting data from the internet. Then Larry Tesler invented copy and paste and suddenly, smaller businesses could afford to scrape data off the internet and use it in their business processes. But data got bigger and more valuable, and copy-pasting could no longer keep up with the amount of data businesses needed to stay competitive. So heads were put together and automated web scraping was born.
Web scraping came to be the ultimate way of extracting data from the internet for both small, medium, and big businesses. The only thing different was the scale to which each business could invest in it. Web scraping uses automated bots, sometimes called “spiders” to crawl through the makeup language of web pages (mostly HTML) and extract data according to some preset parameters. With web scraping, you could access data from nearly any web page on the internet and extract the data into an organized format like a spreadsheet. The advent of web scraping represented a large shift in how businesses could access business data from the web and gave business data analytics a huge boost. But then, websites and websites owner started getting paranoid about bot activity on their websites and started implementing tools to block bot-like activity. Also, the internet made businesses cross borders in their quest to gain customers and pad the bottom line. This made it necessary for businesses to be able to access data from across the whole world even on websites with geo-restrictions. These events made it necessary for evolution in data scraping methods and that is where proxies come in.
What is a proxy?
A proxy is a piece of software that provides you with an alternate IP address, hiding your original IP address and allowing you to browse the internet in complete anonymity. Proxies are a valuable piece of software with various applications, not the least of which is the support they offer to web scraping bots in transcending restrictions on the internet. With the right set of proxies set to the right location, you can escape geo-restrictions and access data from any website on the internet. Also, rotating proxies for example, that continually switch out your proxy IP for a new one every time you log on to the web, it becomes a lot harder for websites to tag your IP as exhibiting bot-like behavior. Therefore, you can successfully scrape data from websites with bot-blockers without getting blocked. There are several ways you can apply proxies to solve data scraping issues and make it easier to collect business data from the internet and we’ll talk more about some of them later in this article. For now, let’s look at a few use-cases for using business data to improve your business.
Using Business Data to Improve Your Business
Now that we’ve explored the value of business intelligence analytics and dipped a toe into data collection tools, let’s look at a few specific use-cases for using business data to improve your business processes:
- Developing a pricing strategy: Pricing is one of the most delicate aspects of running a business which means you have to employ all the means available to you to get it right, including data analytics. With the right set of data extracted from competitors, customers, and the industry at large, you can come up with a competitive pricing strategy that covers your bottom line without pricing out your customers.
- Improving product quality: Business intelligence and analytics help you to build better products by extracting data on past products that have been successful, identifying the trends that made them successful, and implementing the insights derived from these data sets into building your own products.
- Monitoring competitors: If you are in business and you aren’t keeping an eye on your competitors, you won’t be in business for long. Most times, your competitors are one of the most valuable sources of business data for you. By examining their business strategies and tactics, you can come up with even better strategies that allow you to beat them with their own data.
- Lead generation: When it comes to lead generation, extensive use of business intelligence and analytics is the only way to do it right. Like we said earlier, your customers are on the internet but finding them in the midst of billions of people can be quite challenging. With business data analytics, you can use the data generated by previous and current customers to build an ideal lead profile that you can use to identify potential leads and work on converting them into customers.
Data Science for Business With Blazing SEO
Now, let’s go back to proxies. Proxies come in different forms and types, but at the end of the day, they all aim to do the same thing: give you the freedom to browse the internet without any restrictions. Depending on your needs, you can choose to invest in:
Static vs rotating proxies
Static proxies give you only one alternative IP address which you use every time you log on to the web. This type of proxy is more suited to individual use allowing you to browse incognito and access geo-restricted content like movies or games. Rotating proxies, on the other hand, offer you a bunch of IP addresses that get switched out every time you log on the web. This type of proxy is more suited to web scraping purposes and gives you a higher degree of access to all sorts of data on the web. With enough time, the IP address for a static proxy will get blocked if it is used for scraping purposes while IPs from rotating proxies are less likely to get blocked.
You can purchase both static and rotating proxies from us here at Blazing SEO. We offer proxies of the highest quality at the most affordable prices, plus, you will be able to authorize your proxy using our simple proxy authorization guide. As of now, we offer IP authorization (HTTP or SOCKS), and Username: Password. Currently, we offer proxies in 13 different countries including the USA, Germany, and Brazil. Our USA location has nineteen cities to choose from, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Dallas, and Buffalo. Plus, we have Sneaker and Shopify proxies that are tailored made for eCommerce shopping. For your rotating proxies, you can choose to purchase several static proxies and load them into your web scraping software for switching or you can purchase rotating proxies directly from us. Whichever one you choose, we are here to serve you with the best of it.
Datacenter vs residential proxies
Another form in which proxies come is data center vs residential proxies. Datacenter proxies, like the name, says are housed in the data center from which the resultant proxy IP addresses are generated. They are not attached to any residential location or Internet Service Provider (ISP). This type of proxy is valuable for a lot of purposes. However, the lack of an attached residential address or ISP can make some websites flag them for bot-like behavior which could hamper your data extraction activities.
Residential proxies on the other hand are sourced from actual, real-life users and have a residential address and ISP attached to them. These types of proxies are highly valuable as using them generates the appearance of a real-life user making it almost impossible for them to ever get blocked for bot-like activity. They can be on the high-priced side but are an extremely valuable investment as they can be the breakthrough your data collection process needs to go to the next level.
At Blazing SEO, we have residential proxies of the highest quality, sourced fairly from actual users who are fairly compensated for the use of their IPs. Our residential proxies offer all you need to browse the internet completely incognito and transcend all restrictions that could hamper your activities. When you buy residential proxies from us, you are buying proxies that are backed with ethical and legal considerations that make their usage fair for everybody involved.
And if you choose to invest in our data center proxies, we currently offer proxies in 13 different countries including the USA, Germany, and Brazil. Our USA location has nineteen cities to choose from, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Dallas, and Buffalo. Plus, we have Sneaker and Shopify proxies that are tailored made for eCommerce shopping.
With the way business data analytics has exploded in the past ten years, perhaps it is time you stopped watching on the sidelines and get into the game of improving your business processes with data. If you agree with us, then contact us now to get your high-quality proxies at the most affordable prices. We hope to hear from you soon.
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