Top 6 data extraction tools in 2023

Web scraping platforms that provide pre-built data extraction tools you can try for free.


What is data extraction?

Data extraction, also known as data collection or web scraping, is a method of harvesting unstructured web data and storing it in a structured format. This way, a vast array of vital information, from product reviews and social media interactions to map coordinates and academic papers, can be copied and stored for processing and analysis.

Imagine a manual way of doing this on a tiny scale. And let's assume, by way of example, that your use case is academic research on the reporting of the news in Ukraine. You choose 5 URLs and read 5 news articles about the subject and identify all the adjectives used in relation to, say, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Now that you have your list of adjectives, you can start identifying patterns and commonalities to identify the objectivity or partiality of the reporting.

Why you need a data extraction tool

Maybe 5 articles aren't a big deal, but any researcher worth their salt wouldn't take that seriously as a work of research. You'd need hundreds of articles. And collecting large amounts of data at speed and scale is not something you want to even contemplate doing manually.

Now imagine extracting product information from a huge website like Amazon. If you want the prices for every pair of shoes on the Amazon website, for example, you're talking about thousands upon thousands of web pages.

Use Amazon Product Scraper to extract data from the Amazon website

Or what if you want to extract all tweets about Elon Musk? Again, we're talking about an unthinkable number of posts (he is insanely active on Twitter, after all), and that's not even including all the comments, reactions, and images. The memes alone would take up more time than you have to spare.

Data extraction tools automate such processes by opening specified URLs to identify and retrieve the content related to your particular case.

Use Twitter Scraper to extract data from Twitter

6 data extraction tools you can try for free

There are many types of data extraction tools to choose from. In this article, we won't cover the range of HTTP clients, like Requests, parsers such as Beautiful Soup, or web scraping libraries, like Scrapy or Crawlee. For more information about such tools, you might like to read about the top 11 open-source web crawlers or skip to the further reading section at the bottom of this article.

Instead, we'll focus on platforms that provide pre-built data extraction tools. Not only are these the best option for those with little to no coding knowledge, but they also save developers deployment time, as you don't have to build your own web scrapers from scratch.

Here are 6 platforms (in reverse alphabetical order) that provide great data extraction tools that you can try for free. In most cases, the free trial is time-limited. In all cases, you'll get much more out of the tools if you're on a paid plan. Let the countdown begin:

6. ParseHub

ParseHub is aimed at non-developers and provides an easy-to-use data extraction tool that can scrape data with a few clicks and lets you turn any website into a spreadsheet or API. The free plan gets you 200 pages per run in 40 minutes. The paid plans offer better performance.

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5. Oxylabs

Oxylabs is primarily a proxy provider, but it also includes a data extraction solution with its Web Scraper API. It gives you a maintenance-free scraping infrastructure to help you deal with JavaScript-heavy websites, IP blocking, and other challenges.

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4. Hevo

With over 150 plug-and-play connectors, Hevo lets you replicate data in other applications and databases and lets you monitor your workflow. The free plan lets you choose 50 of those connectors and includes 1 million events.

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3. Diffbot

Diffbot is an extraction software for enterprise companies. You can use it to collect data from articles, news pages, product pages, and forums. The cheapest paid plan starts at close to $300, but it is free to try for two weeks.

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2. Bright Data

Another well-known proxy provider, Bright Data offers a sophisticated data extraction solution with its Web Scraper IDE. Bright Data's cloud-based infrastructure enables you to collect reliable data at scale and offers fully-managed custom enterprise solutions.

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1. Apify

Primarily a platform for developers, Apify also provides over 1,000 pre-built data extraction tools. Some are designed to scrape data from any website, but the majority are designed to scrape specific websites. Such data extraction tools are highly useful for developers (as they save deployment time) and non-developers (as the experts have tailored the tools for you already).

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Apify for developers

If you're a developer, you might like to know that Apify supports the hosting of scrapers written in any programming language and gives you easy access to serverless computation, data storage, distributed queues, and hundreds of web scraping APIs built by other developers. It's also deeply integrated with Crawlee, an open-source Node.js web scraping library that generates human-like browser fingerprints and manages user sessions.

Learn more about building data extraction tools in Web Scraping Academy.

Theo Vasilis
Theo Vasilis
Writer, Python dabbler, and crafter of web scraping tutorials. Loves to inform, inspire, and illuminate. Interested in human and machine learning alike.

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