Can you imagine life without the capacity to collect data in the manner we do these days? Today’s data collection through web scraping is quick, comprehensive, and can be effortless. Gone are the days when you have to go to the files, archives, people, and places through great distances and barriers just so that certain valuable information can be gathered.
With the way things are, it seems impossible to go back and use the usual methods of getting information. Data mining has become so fast and even convenient that it appears to be only and the best way to stay successful in business and in research. As of now, nothing can seem to replace the way web scraping has impacted information procurement and tracking.
Across Physical Boundaries
Only a decade or two ago, one has to exert efforts to literally cross boundaries by traveling in order to get data from libraries, museums, archives, companies, institutions, and people. This effort is not only physically draining but also financially depleting. Moreover, the success rate is not also assured especially when some data may have been lost or passed from one person or location to another.
Today, what you simply need is a computer and an Internet connection and you can reach and verify as well as retrieve the data through electronic means. There are fewer people involved and less money to spend because you travel not by geographical means but through virtual space. Data mining has crawled all over the world subtly and silently.
A few years back, you cannot just get into a library or institution without proper identification and certain adherence to protocol. Entering a certain area can be difficult and data collection is even more difficult because of limited chances of borrowing and copying some contents of books and materials. For example, some historical data are in microfilm form such that you have to view them personally and do some note taking by hand.
These days, most of the information are published or stored in websites so that you can access them freely or you can sign up or subscribe to such websites and you can browse through their data and gather all the necessary information for your company or research work. Some clever researchers can even get through restrictions and security codes set by some websites for their own protection and some kind of intellectual property issues.
Regardless of Time
Time is an important element in gathering information. It is dependent on the kind of material you will need and the relevance of the age or timeliness of that data to you or your clients. Some time ago, the older files can be easily acquired over the newer files because they have been put to record already. However, the newer ones were more difficult to access because they have not been recorded yet.
Today, everything has seemed to have been in print or visual presentation online within seconds of its conception or release. For instance, if you want to know the results of important activities such as sports or board examinations, you will find them easily online. In addition, such information is updated regularly and frequently.
In the past, we usually marvel at the science fiction movies that portray lives and exploits that use time machines. During those times, such travels and activities were dismissed as impossible and simply products of the human imagination. However, looking at the way things are in the present cyber world, anything can just happen.
It would not be a wonder if one of these days, someone will come and introduce the time machine. Now, people will no longer respond with unbelief because anything indeed can happen. Whatever a person can think about these days can be put into a reality. The word impossible appears to be nonexistent now because of the way technology has improved and simplified access to information. Because of this, anything can simply happen.
Today’s geniuses are really outwitting the obstacles set by time, distance, people, and imagination. It is unthinkable what will be the next invention by the experts in science and technology. Now that Mars is a potential for human habitation and some individuals have volunteered to live there, data mining as an indispensable act can surely become interplanetary and universe-wide in scope.
On the downside, less and less privacy can be attained and maintained by many individuals and entities. Since there is an easy access to information once they are posted or attached online, then we will lose one of the precious privileges we usually enjoy. Almost if not all of the people who have accessed the Internet or who have allowed their information to be used through electronic means such as emails and social networking can be recorded, accessed and used by others through data mining.