What Is An Organized Collection Of Data? Data Collection And Proxy Best Practices

Scraping Robot
August 16, 2023

Because businesses and individuals are producing more data than ever before. According to Statista, global data creation is predicted to exceed 180 zettabytes by 2025. An organized collection of such data can help businesses with many research projects and data analytics applications.

Table of Contents


As an increasing amount of data is produced, organizations must deeply understand data collection best practices. Specifically, they must consider the ethics of data collection, choose appropriate storage mechanisms, and use proxies to scrape data. Otherwise, they will have difficulties leveraging data into successful business strategies. This article will test your knowledge of collecting data.

What Is Digital Data Collection?

learn about digital data

Data collection begins after the research design process. It involves gathering data for marketing, business decision-making, research, and other purposes. It is also known as the process of performing an organized collection of data. An effective and organized collection of data gives the C-suite information they need to answer questions, predict future trends, and analyze consumers’ needs.

Here are some common types of creating an organized collection of data:

  • Data collection for quality improvement: eCommerce, healthcare, and other types of businesses that sell products and services often collect data for quality improvement. For example, a hospital can use surveys to evaluate patients’ experiences with various surgeons and see which surgeons have lower ratings. The hospital can then improve patients’ experiences with those surgeons.
  • Data collection for artificial intelligence (AI): Companies that use AI must perform an organized collection of data that is relevant to their AI project’s goals and objectives. Inaccurate, missing, and biased data will lower the quality of the AI predictions.
  • Data collection for business intelligence (BI): Data scientists may use BI software to gather business data and present it in user-friendly views such as graphs, reports, charts, and dashboards. BI tools let business users access and analyze different data types to gain insights about business performance.
  • Data collection for specialized research: Universities, scientists, and medical professionals may use data to perform specialized research for academic articles and research studies. For example, history professors may collect historical data from different primary sources to derive insights into how a particular group of people lived in the past.

Data Collection Planning Methods

data collection planning

There are two ways to create an organized collection of data: manual and automated data collection.

Manual data collection

Manual data collection is when people find an organized collection of data from data sources and copy them onto Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets. For example, if you are a laptop seller researching competitors’ prices, you can collect data manually by going to competitors’ sites and copying laptop prices into an Excel sheet.

Although it requires minimal expertise and investment, manual data collection has several drawbacks:

  • Slow and tedious: Users may require days, weeks, and even months to finish collecting data for a task.
  • Prone to human error and bias: Since human users are finding and extracting data from sources, the extracted data can be prone to human error and bias. For instance, human users may prefer extracting data from sites that load faster and ignore sites that take longer. This can lead to bias and inaccuracy.
  • Delayed and inaccurate: Manual collection of certain data types and sources, such as real-time finance data, can be delayed and inaccurate, distorting companies’ ability to make smart business decisions.
  • Expensive: Short-term manual data collection projects are usually inexpensive. However, long-term projects involving hundreds or thousands of data sources can be costly, especially if you hire people to collect data manually. Inaccurate data can also cause financial loss in certain industries and circumstances. For instance, if you’re an insurer, you must accurately report your solvency ratios to demonstrate your financial stability. Manual data extraction can lead to errors, resulting in reputational damage, reduced revenue, and potential fines.

Automated data collection

Automated data collection services involve using software to harvest data from multiple sources without human intervention. These technologies empower teams to gather data faster and without bias. They give users multiple benefits, including:

  • No human errors and bias: Automated data collection software eliminates human errors and bias.
  • Increased efficiency: By assigning repetitive tasks like data collection to scrapers and APIs, employees have more time for tasks that require human ingenuity.
  • Lower costs: Manual data collection may seem less expensive since it doesn’t require you to get new software. However, investing in high-quality automated data collection software helps you save costs over the long run by improving workflows and enhancing the security, compliance, and quality of captured data.

Common tools for organized collection of data include the following.


A cookie is a small, organized collection of data sent to users’ browsers by your website. Businesses can use this organized collection of data to gain insights into user preferences and behaviors. For instance, cookies can reveal the most popular pages and products.

Web scraping bots

Web scraping bots or scrapers automatically fetch data from web pages and save it as a data file. Many businesses use them to gather data for business decisions. Common use cases include:

  • Lead generation: Companies can use web scrapers to collect data about potential customers. They can use this information to create targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Price monitoring: Businesses can use web scrapers to track competitors’ pricing data. They can then adjust their prices to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Sentiment analysis: Companies can also use web scrapers to collect customers’ social media posts and comments. They can use this data to gauge the public’s feelings about their brand and products.
  • Market research: Businesses can use scrapers to perform an organized collection of data on market trends, customer preferences, and business opportunities.

Web scraping APIs

Web scraping APIs are also used to fetch data from the internet. However, unlike web scrapers, they only give you the data website owners want you to access. Many finance have APIs that provide users access to stock market information.

Data Collection Best Practices

data collection is good practice

Digital organized collection of data can be daunting and time-consuming, especially if you have limited expertise. Follow these data collection planning best practices to collect data effectively and efficiently.

Consider the ethics of data collection

Data is a powerful resource that comes with responsibilities. You must collect, store, and use data ethically to maintain your reputation and bottom line. Here are five data ethics principles for business professionals:

  1. Individuals have ownership of their personal information. People own their personal data, so collecting someone’s data without their consent is unethical and unlawful. Businesses can obtain consent for gathering individuals’ data through signed written agreements, pop-ups with checkboxes that let websites track users’ online behavior with cookies, and digital privacy policies that ask users to agree to a website’s terms and conditions.
  2. Data subjects have a right to know you plan to collect, store, and use their data. Always be transparent when collecting data. For example, if your eCommerce website uses cookies to gather information on users’ site behavior and buying habits, you should have a policy that clearly explains this.
  3. Take as little data as possible. If you are hacked, malicious actors may use leaked sensitive data for criminal acts such as identity theft. Take as little sensitive data as possible to limit the consequences of data leaks.

Choose storage mechanisms

After considering the ethics of data collection, you must choose appropriate storage mechanisms. Here are some common ways to store an organized collection of data:

  • Databases are organized collections of data. They are set up for easy management, access, and updating. There are many types of databases, including object-oriented, relational, and NoSQL databases.
  • Data warehouses are centralized hubs of current and historical data from various sources. They only store data that has been transformed and treated with specific purposes in mind. Many businesses use data warehouses to guide management decisions.
  • Data lakes store data of all structure types, including unprocessed and raw data. Companies use them for exploratory analytics, machine learning, big data, data discovery, and streaming.

Use proxies

Unfortunately, anti-scraping technologies often block web scrapers from gathering all this valuable data because they don’t act human. For instance, human users arrive on landing pages before going to inner pages, especially if those pages do not have a high search engine results page ranking. However, scrapers can land on inner pages without going to landing pages first. They also make too many simultaneous requests from the same IP address.

One way to speed up data extraction and prevent being blocked is by utilizing proxies. A proxy acts as an intermediary server between you and the target website. By rotating through a pool of proxies, your scrapers will appear to be a group of humans submitting requests from different IP addresses.

Scraping Robot Web Scraper and API Proxies

scraping robot and data collection

There are two types of performing organized collection of data: manual and automated. Manual collection requires human users to copy and paste information from sites to spreadsheets, which can be time-consuming, expensive, and inaccurate. Automated data collection uses software such as web scrapers to pull information from sites without human intervention. You can improve the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of automated data collection by picking appropriate storage mechanisms and using proxies to avoid getting banned from websites.

Scraping Robot’s code-free web scraper and API comes with proxy management and rotation, JavaScript rendering, metadata parsing, browser scalability, server management, and CAPTCHA solving to provide a headache-free data collection experience. We also regularly look for new anti-scraping updates from target sites. Sign up with Scraping Robot today to get 5,000 free scrapes per month and create your own organized collection of data.

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.