What Is Data Extraction And Why It Is Critical For Your Business?

Updated on :June 18, 2024
By :Manju Mohan

Did you know that Walmart receives a massive 2.5 petabytes of data every hour from its customers' transactions? Extracting and analyzing such data can benefit Walmart in many ways. Data is the new wealth of the twenty-first century. However, with such enormous amounts of data generated, it can become challenging to sift through the datasets to gain specific data. 

While 85% of companies are shifting to being more "data-driven', only a mere 37% feel that they have made successful attempts in leveraging data for their business. So, if you want to know your customers and make better business decisions, data extraction software can be the best possible solution. Data extraction is a practice of data retrieval from a wide array of sources. Various businesses can unleash a plethora of benefits from this process.

What is Data Extraction?

Data extraction is a process through which information is gathered, analyzed, and expressed in the form of a summary. Collecting large amounts of high-quality data from multiple sources is necessary to create relevant results. The data is gathered from various sources as a comprehensive summary for statistical analysis and other purposes. 

Data extraction helps to gain more information about specific data sets according to explicit variables such as age, gender, profession, or browsing behavior. Based on these factors, it can prove beneficial for personalizing websites and advertising as per the types of individuals belonging to each target audience. Moreover, this is one of the essential steps in aggregating data as the accuracy of the insights from the data analysis relies on the quality of data that has been gathered.

Data aggregation can be a beneficial use case for many industries; however, it is particularly advantageous for the finance industry. Financial data aggregation enhances business strategy decision-making along with better pricing, operations, product, and marketing strategies. 

While the finance sector can harness data extraction's potential, let us look at how it will be beneficial for other industries and why one should go for the adoption of data aggregation in the near future.

Industries that can leverage big data extraction

From healthcare, eCommerce to the finance sector, data will be the future of every company. As making sense from tons of data is a cumbersome and difficult task, data aggregation makes the process simpler and easier. Any industry can harness its potential for strategic future planning and business growth. Here are a few industries where data extraction can be applied:

Fintech 

Data aggregation tools can be a blessing for the Fintech industry. Whether it maintains transactions or managing bank accounts, finance companies can tap into the multifold benefits of data aggregation. Through predictive analytics, they can also follow the latest financial trends and use them to stay ahead of others.

Healthcare and wellness

The healthcare sector can use data aggregation to gather patients' records and reports, gain information about drugs, and handle doctors' data. Doctors can uniquely use these platforms to identify the symptoms and diagnose accordingly. They can predict the sources of any ailment to provide the best treatment procedures or even craft preventive measures in the least possible time.

Ecommerce and retail

The retail and eCommerce sectors can find data aggregation to help study the browsing patterns of their customers and marketing the right shopping recommendations. Competitive price monitoring has been possible only because of the results derived from data aggregators. Such information is captured from an abundance of websites and applications where competitor products are listed.

Marketing 

By gathering information about the latest market trends, marketing professionals will be able to identify the current market demands. From checking the performance of their ad campaigns to identifying the target audience, data aggregation tools can help marketing teams to determine how they can improve their marketing strategies.

Benefits of data extraction for businesses and consumers

Though data aggregation platforms help businesses to access collections of data from various sources and origins, the data is gathered anonymously. It allows developers, researchers, and many business communities to study statistics and gain knowledge that individual data doesn't offer. That said, data aggregation proves to be advantageous for both consumers and companies from every sector. 

  • Data extraction improves the speed of processes

Let us paint a picture. Consider a situation where a consumer applies for a mortgage. This will require the user to produce the last three months' bank statements to qualify for the mortgage application. This means that consumers will have to bring paper statements or send scan copies via email in the form of PDF documents. 

Such a situation can always lead to sending documents to a wrong email address or even procuring the wrong documents. However, data aggregation can make this process much faster and more convenient for both the bank companies and users.

Popular data aggregator platforms like Fiserv and Plaid let users enter their banking account details into the loan system without any paper or emails. Such platforms offer a digital rendering of the bank statements- They connect the account directly to the loan system and validate if the user is eligible for a mortgage. 

Speed is one of the main benefits that data aggregator platforms provide for businesses. Going for such a platform can increase the customer base and allow them to collect quality information to grow in the right direction. 

  • Data extraction promotes privacy and protection 

If one considers the financial industry, consumers always have certain privacy expectations when they perform transactions online. Similarly, financial institutions like banks expect their data to be secure and protected. 

Moreover, it is impossible to obtain specific data individually, because there are legal considerations for protecting the sources' identities from where the data might be retrieved. However, with data aggregation platforms, companies can access data anonymously by complying with the law. Since the data is aggregated and provided through an API in a mixed way, it has no chances of containing personal information that can identify the participants.

  • Data aggregation is a cheaper option

According to a scientific article published by H.Cooper and E.A.Patall in 2009, the benefits of analyzing aggregated statistical data are many compared to gathering data individually. The comprehensive study concluded that aggregated data lower the cost drastically. In simple words, aggregated data APIs are faster and cheaper because they analyze vast amounts of data and help in arriving at similar results in no time.

It is pretty challenging to collect data from companies individually to build connections. But, data aggregation has made it simpler and cheaper. Data aggregators have the necessary built-in infrastructure to retrieve data seamlessly that secures the data too.

  • Data aggregation makes payments faster 

Another significant advantage of data aggregation platforms is that it enables faster payments. Despite using online payment platforms like GooglePay and PhonePe regularly, one fails to recognize that even these platforms are based on anonymized data of users and aggregates. 

Even during the critical times of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, such platforms have proved to be an asset. Contrary to the conventional methods of filling in checkbooks or visiting the ATMs to withdraw cash, such data aggregation platforms enable faster payments.

On the same lines, users face conditions where only P2P payment platforms are necessary to deposit funds into bank accounts. Platforms such as PayPal and Venmo are strong examples that allow consumers to send money in a few seconds with the tap of a few buttons post-linking the bank account with the app. Besides, real-time payments in a point-of-sale environment will also benefit immensely from data aggregation services. 

  • Data extraction helps in understanding global trends

When millions of data rows are aggregated in datasets and analyzed, one can notice specific patterns in the data. Such historic evaluations can help you better understand the present market for your business and your customers. Not to mention that companies that give priority to work on such gathered data for improving their business will benefit from it a lot. Not only can they stay ahead of their competitors but also identify their target audience quickly. 

When companies can observe the trends in data from a holistic view, it gives customers a better perspective. One can understand their needs and patterns, assisting by predicting upcoming changes in the market. Companies will be able to come up with preventive plans beforehand and manage their businesses efficiently.

  • Data aggregation allows detailed analysis

Most popular e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, rely heavily on extracting data related to their customers' behavior patterns. This is because the data can give valuable information about the future purchasing behavior of the customers. It provides a clear picture to the company as to what they should focus on showcasing when specific customers shop online, thereby streamlining online marketing.

Besides, a detailed analysis of the data includes topics such as observing why a customer has chosen to pay less for a product, what type of products customers from a specific age group prefer to purchase, and how to make a consumer spend more in the future. Such an in-depth analysis will boost your sales immediately.

Building a data extraction platform: Factors to keep in mind

There is no doubt that data aggregation can create a revolution for businesses and consumers alike. But, it will be futile if the best practices are not followed while aggregating data. Because of this reason, one must ensure that while building data aggregation platforms, there is intensive research about the requirements. Creating a custom-made and verifiable platform requires considering essential factors while developing it. 

Maintaining data accuracy and offering an analytic approach

Accuracy and reliability form the building blocks of any data aggregation platform. When the system design is drawn, one must also take care of issues such as referral spam and ad blocks that can potentially interfere with the business operations to a large extent. The workaround mechanism of the platform should keep such problems at bay.

The effectiveness of a platform can also be enhanced by adopting an analytical approach. An excellent data aggregation platform is one that can provide insights into individual users other than the aggregated data. Simply put, it should be a customer-centered platform enabled to generate leads at a customer's level. Also, it should allow users to perform automatic data sampling and control the level of sampling seamlessly.

Capabilities for integration and connectivity

A reliable data aggregation application must have ample room for integrating other tools easily. Also, the integration design must be flexible in case any change occurs. Integration sockets enable data and application migration, making sure that there are minimal disruptions to business operations. The integration system should be capable of performing the following tasks:

  • There should be authorized integrations for permitting to adjust or modify the code to make it compatible with your business. This is helpful in situations when authority is absent, and it is mandatory to make connections possible.
  • When the need arises to migrate data, a great platform must be capable of data migration. It should not rely on components or services that might result in a vendor lock-in situation.

Requirements of business and features

The Key Performance Indicators(KPIs) must be determined for a data aggregation platform as they are necessary for business growth. It includes scope for increasing profits, improving the operations within the organization, and competitive advantages. 

Such key functionalities also include reporting mechanisms and preferred data tracking methods. An effective system will follow practices that are easier to study and visualize and to identify and address the policies of an organization. However, it is always advisable to capture an extensive range of business requirements for both users and the enterprise, to make the most use of the platform. 

That being said, a data aggregation platform should also have reliable system features in real-time. It should allow users to conduct data segmentation at advanced levels and access user-level reports.

Compatibility with device and user-friendliness

Developing a user-friendly data aggregation platform is crucial. Though cutting down costs and increasing revenue play significant roles while building platform, providing maximum comfort to the users plays a more prominent role. 

For this purpose, incorporating a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy is a win-win for both users as well as companies. According to GlobalStats Statcounter, as of May 2020, 53.33% of the market share is owned by smartphones and tablets. Also, 46.67% of the platform market share is taken by desktops. 

No wonder more and more people are inclined towards mobile phones and tablets, owing to its portability and ease of use. In a nutshell, an effective data aggregation platform must be compatible with all devices and make it easy for the users.

Overall cost-effectiveness for platform building

A prime factor to consider while building any platform is the cost. As developing a data aggregation platform is a long-term commitment, one should also include the ongoing costs and probable future operation costs. 

During calculations of cost, one should list the major costs involved, including tools, upgradation, maintenance, and additional costs for any modifications. The value should also cover any third-party services that might be required for developing the platform. To come up with the most effective budget in less time, it is advisable to plan your expenses much in advance. 

Organization and storage capabilities of data

As machine learning and big data are the new norms, it is not surprising to know that the growth of data in the coming years will be exponential. Regular analysis of tons of data and the Herculean growth in the utilization of digital platforms will be prime reasons. 

According to Seagate, by 2025, more than 6 billion consumers will interact with data every day. It is anticipated that the global data-sphere will touch a whopping 175 zettabytes by the year 2025. This paints a crystal-clear picture— data generation will be a straight curve in the coming days.

With the tremendous growth of data, businesses have to devise unique ways to store their data securely. To maintain consistent levels of performance, in the long run, a data aggregation platform must be able to scale with the growing data. Not only storing data is important, but it is also vital to enhance the speed of accessing, modifying, and retrieving the information. 

This is why data storage is a critical factor to consider while developing a data aggregation platform. You might have to make an important decision about storing data, whether you choose cloud or disk storage.

Choosing Advanced tools and technologies 

Choosing the best up-to-date tools and technologies to build an efficient data aggregation platform is one of the factors that require thorough research. Consulting an expert who has good knowledge about the most suitable tools and technologies will be very beneficial. Statistical analysis software, data analysis software, data visualization software, data extraction software are all tools that can help in collecting and aggregating the data in a specific sequence that is usable. Investing in such tools can be the right move. There are free and open source statistical analysis softwarefree and open source data visualization tools, free and open source data extraction software that can be of great help for organizations with budget constraints. Otherwise, the process of developing a platform can take longer, and it might incur more costs than what you have planned. For data aggregation platforms, some of the main tools are:

  • Build tools
  • Source control tools
  • Tools for supporting methodology
  • Integrated debugging environment
  • Bug trackers and Profilers
  • Deployment and Testing tools

One must keep in mind that choosing every tool from the above list needs critical examination and testing. The tools you choose much be very useful for the overall completion of the project. Also, the applicability of the tool should be specific as different development stages require different tools. 

Even the skills of developers play a vital role in choosing these tools. An experienced developer will be able to choose a suitable tool and complete work in a fixed timeframe, contributing to the overall development process's overall success.

Scalability and flexibility of the platform

If you are looking at long-term goals, one of the major factors to build a data aggregator platform is scalability. A data aggregator that can dynamically scale up according to the future requirements will enhance the efficiency of the overall processes. 

One of the innovative solutions that can assist with scaling up is opting for cloud integration. The benefits of this solution are that it offers easy integration, and the data can be managed flexibly. In a time when digital communication has become mandatory and, machine-to-machine communication is trending, it is important to consider flexibility.

Security

While planning and building a data aggregation platform, it is crucial to consider the concerns of the involved parties. A successful and fully functional platform can be built only if the management and stakeholders support the plan even before the development initiates. This is the reason the human factor is required to make the decision in an informed manner. 

As far as the security aspects are concerned, one must lay a set of guiding principles defining each user's roles and authority in the platform. Once the users of the aggregator platform are defined, it is definite that you are building a secure data aggregation platform. 

Legal Compliance

If you are gathering data from various sources without complying with the local regulations, it can violate the legality. Everything that you do in your business must come under the law. Developing a data aggregation platform is a sensitive task because the activities involve the collection of data, ensuring that there is full user privacy protection. 

For legal compliance, your tools, methods, and platform must respect the law and follow data privacy regulations. The data aggregator platform must also be versatile enough to adapt to current legislation as well as any upcoming legislation. Also, cookies and cache must always be used with consent and regulated.

Final thoughts

Big data extraction and analysis is here to stay and help businesses thrive in the future - especially during the existing times of the novel Coronavirus, when the entire globe has digitalized their day-to-day activities, it is a golden opportunity to go for data aggregation. Aggregating data is not an easy feat to achieve, but if one has the right tools like data analysis software at hand, it can transform the entire picture of your business and drive you towards growth. Octoparse, Diggernaut, ParseHub are some of the best data extraction software, and Zoho Analytics, Kissmetrics, Good Data, SAS are some of the best data analysis software.

Manju Mohan
Manju Mohan

Manju Mohan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Ionixx Technologies Inc., a full-stack, design-driven software development company. Manju is responsible for the process of innovation, development, and growth strategies of Ionixx. In an endeavor to always keep her venture evolving with next-gen technologies, Manju is currently focusing on Blockchain Technology and UX Design.

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