When undertaking competitive analysis companies often employ a large number of interviewers or mystery shoppers to head out into competitor's shops and record pricing data. This is an expensive and time consuming process which can yield inconsistent results and bad data.

For example, up until January 1 2020, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) would send out 100 researchers into the world to record product pricing from thousands of different shops. Now, utilizing web scraping technology these activities are a thing of the past. CBS now collects pricing data using web data mining, saving millions of dollars in employment costs each year. In addition, the data is delivered regularly, and updated often with a high level of accuracy.

This is just one example of a medium to large business saving huge amounts of money by using Data as a Service.

In addition to cutting out employment costs, the pricing data can be far more accurate and updated in real time.

During 2020, how will you grow your business using data obtained through data collection methods?

Depending on your company, you could save money and grow your business.

Using data with regards to your competitors pricing, products or businesses will give you a competitive edge.

How can I use web data to gain business intelligence?

A classic example may be an automotive vehicle parts supplier.

Lets say you are one of 5 medium sized businesses providing vehicle parts to customers in your area.

You have noticed when your competitors lower their prices for a promotion, you loose a significant portion of your sales.

Ideally, you could monitor their website and gain insight into their pricing changes. You've done this in the past manually, but it is a time consuming process so you often miss pricing changes.

With web scraping, for a small monthly fee you could have a program which collects the data you need, and emails you updates each week. It could even monitor pricing changes, and notify you when updated in real time. This improves your productivity, and will provide you with reliable business intelligence which you can use to your advantage.