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Why outsource web scraping from a managed team
Have you ever wondered what giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have in common? They’ve all been outsourcing.
But it’s not just a game for the big leagues. A Clutch survey revealed that 21% of small businesses were eyeing outsourcing in 2022. The trend is even more apparent in the information technology sector, with 65% of companies outsourcing their tech needs, data extraction included.
So, why should you consider handing over your web scraping needs to a managed team? Let’s dive in and uncover the reasons.
What is a managed data extraction team?
A managed team involves an arrangement when the external team functions autonomously but aligns closely with your company’s objectives and plans. Here, there’s a project manager from the side of the external managed team. And they report directly to an in-house product owner (or any other company’s point person) as frequently as needed.
Apart from that, a managed team is characterized by:
- Ongoing data delivery and parsers’ maintenance
- Focus on long-term relationships
- A fixed fee or a recurring subscription model for the service delivery
- Agility and quick response to your needs
- Integration with your in-house processes
Flexibility is a major perk of this model. The team is custom-built to suit the unique needs of your web scraping project. This includes specialized roles like a Scrum master to keep the project on track. Or a cloud architect to manage cloud-based aspects. Everything depends on your project’s demands.
When should you choose to handle web scraping to a managed team?
Let’s consider a scenario. Your business helps HR professionals and organizations make informed hiring decisions. You provide them with crucial data on offenders throughout the USA. To ensure your service’s effectiveness, you must maintain an up-to-date and comprehensive database. This requires a continuous flow of fresh data. In such a case, deciding to hire a managed team can be the best decision. Let’s explore what factors prove that.
So, a project like yours requires ongoing data refreshment. And this means the team must frequently update their scraping tools to adapt to new changes in the data sources.
Also, you probably have a platform that allows a quick search of the required data. Or any other system. A managed team will collaborate with you to ensure the deliverables smoothly flow into those systems in a suitable format.
There’s typically a higher initial investment when it comes to a managed team (compared to outsourcing web scraping services). That’s because you’ve got to set up the team, establish communication channels, and align all the processes. All these things take time. Sometimes a lot of time.
But given the continuous scope of the project, this initial web scraping cost is often justified. Over time, this model proves to be more cost-effective. As the team becomes more efficient. So, the cost per unit of work usually decreases.
There are projects where data is important, but it’s not the core company’s competence. For example, if you’re an e-commerce seller, you may want to scrape competitors’ listings to have a better idea of other offerings. In this scenario, you need to cover your immediate need for rivals’ performance information. Only once.
But if you provide data to your clients, that’s a whole different story. Here, automatic data collection is a key competence of your business. So, you won’t suffice yourself (and your clients) with a one-time website scrape. You’ll need to parse more than 50 websites regularly. Fix those parsers. And check data for its relevance and quality. That’s what the managed team is perfect for.
Control and customization
When you outsource data harvesting services, you usually have limited control over how the job is done. You communicate your requirements at the outset, and the whole data gathering and processing procedure is totally in the hands of the outsourced partner. That’s great in cases when you need data, and do not want to deal with any management.
But in case you do, there’s a managed team model. You’ll be in continuous collaboration with the team. So, you’ll have a chance to share your vision on how to integrate the project into your existing business processes. All to ensure the whole flow meets your operational standards.
Time to market
Assembling a managed team is a long game that rewards you with a more tailored execution. Mainly, because you’ve got to find the right people. And then integrate them into your in-house systems. Sure, it takes longer compared to getting services from outsourcing companies. Since they will engage a team that is already set up. But hey. If you need a team that will perform web scraping activities alongside your department and become an integral part of your business, here you are—a managed team.
A managed team works great for web scraping projects that are ongoing, require deep integration with business processes, and involve evolving requirements.
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