“Big data is at the foundation of all the megatrends that are happening.” – By Chris Lynch, American Writer of Books
Data has now become the most important asset for any business.
Data in its form can add value to what activities a business can conduct.
Imagine you have the data in your hand about consumer behaviour, wouldn’t this data help you to change the way you engage with such prospects?
That is the power of data.
Data has become and will continue to grow into becoming the ultimate solution for any brand enhancement, improvement, and growth with regards to lead generation activities.
There are different types of data, but today this article wants you to understand what ‘Alternative data’ is.
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If you're into investment and revolve around it most of the time, this is the data that can help you understand better what to do next.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ALTERNATIVE DATA?
Alternative data is data that is used to capture valuable insights for investors to make better financial decisions.
The data is sourced outside from a brand which makes it more secure. Alternative data is huge and cannot be stored in small spaces. It associates itself with investor profiles and also hedge fund managers.
Let’s learn more about Alternative data in depth.
ALTERNATIVE DATA: WHY SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT IT?
There is one factor you need to understand here and that is data can help a brand grow.
When alternative data has valuable information that can help a brand to succeed in what it does best, especially in the financial sector, wouldn’t more investment opportunities push such a type of data to popularity?
This is exactly what Alternative data offers its target audience.
There are multiple different types of alternative data such as :
1 . Credit card transactions
2. Consumer sentiments
3. Geolocation data
4. Website usage
If you’ve noticed all these types of alternative data give out the information that can help you understand the prospect action better.
Let’s understand this with an example:
With the credit card transactions, you can understand how much your prospect is ready to spend?
Where are the transactions heading towards the most?
What investments are made more by that prospect?
When you have such information it becomes easy to sell to such prospects. For instance, you can entice that prospect to invest in a stock that matches how much they spend regularly, this will make the prospect hear you out and conduct the investment.
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However, it isn’t easy to get alternative data.
Despite it being available from outer sources, the increase in online crimes has made everything strict, including even capturing quality information that could matter to your brand.
So does this mean, you can’t conduct alternative data capture?
We believe otherwise because we have a solution that can help you capture information with ease and with no risks attached.
WEB SCRAPING: YOUR DATA CAPTURE SOLUTION
Web scraping is the process of extracting information from a source or website which contains valuable information and scraping all of that and saving it in your system in the format you would like to view it in such as CSV file and much more.
Previously, if a company needed to extract information from a website, they would opt for the method of copy-pasting. But the drawback here was when it comes to large data the copy-pasting would consume a lot of time to conduct the action and when you copy-paste big data the website slows down alerting the owner of suspicious activity.
But with web scraping, this isn’t the case. In just a few minutes you can easily extract information without slowing down the website which is why it has grown to be popular. To conduct web scraping activities is convenient, all you need to is:
- 1 . Select the website/source you want to scrape
- Choose the data which you needs scraping
- Run the web scraping code
- Save it all in your system
Web scraping can help you conduct multiple actions such as you’ve just witnessed, scraping alternative data, but there is more that it can help you with such as:
1. QUICKER IMPROVISATION OF BRAND’S SOLUTIONS
A brand can enhance its solution when it has the right data which exhibits the requirements needed to improvise the solution. Web scraping provides accurate data because all the data being driven is from sources that have been following it or from platforms where prospects have mentioned their opinion on their expectations about a particular product.
All of this contributes a valuable data collection to brands which can help them to improvise their solution better. Since brands have an analysis of what their prospects are expecting, it becomes easier to adapt to the modifications and also plan out the next possible changes before the new trend hits.
2. RETAINS BRAND SUCCESS
A brand success can only be retained when a band continues to serve the needs of all its prospects even with each changing trend. But how can that happen when the trends have no time of their arrival?
With the data collected, brand’s can have an idea, it might not be the exact prediction but a simple analysis of how their solution will be looked upon a few years from now. Not only that aspect, but brands can also have an analysis of how their prospects will look at a product.
For instance maybe the current product offered by a brand is great,it has all the features and the prices are great, with web scraping you can get data which will help you analyze what more are prospects looking from the product for instance maybe they want few features to be automated or they want a specific feature and so on. Web scraping ensures that you get the data that can help you still cater to the prospect's needs no matter the changes and still retain the success crown for longer.
3. INDULGES IN LEAD GENERATION ACTIVITIES
To capture the ideal lead for a brand, it takes up a lot of research time to find the right audience which fits a brand’s target audience. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just have a list that consists of the leads which can be interested in what your brand has to offer? Web scraping lets this happen.
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There are moments where you find leads in the most unimagined places, for instance, your blog post comments, or if someone has shared your post and even leads can be found within your peers activities as well such as their engagement sections of the individuals they interact with openly online, all these prospects stand as a potential sales leads for your brand.
With the help of web scraping, you can easily scrape such information, get their contact details as well as email addresses without breaking a sweat and conduct efficient cold calling and emailing on the spot. This not only saves a lot of time for the sales agents to find them through the crowd but also speeds up the process much quicker than imagined.
However, conducting web scraping on a regular basis can be risky as you could be seen as suspicious activity. Hence to avoid this, you need to start using the next solution along with it.
HOW PROXY SERVERS ENHANCE WEB SCRAPING ACTIONS?
A proxy server is a solution that helps you a brand to access any kind of information from any source without the fear of their identity being hidden.
For instance, say you want to access information from your competitors in order to understand what their particular strategies are. The first step you would do is to send a request to view their website.
Instead of the request reaching their website, the proxy server will receive it first. The proxy server will change your IP address and then send the request. Once your competitors approve of the request sent, you can then access their information.
The reason why proxy servers change your IP address is that this address can give away your current location. For instance, now your competitors have only limited their data access on their website to certain users. If you are not a part of those set users, chances are you would either have the request denied or be blocked. The way they find out is through the IP address you hold.
What a proxy server does is it hides your IP address and showcases another IP address so when your competitors receive it, they will think that you are a part of their users and give you access. When this action is being conducted, proxy servers ensure that nowhere at any point will your identity be revealed.