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Operational Research

import.io – a free tool I’ve been using to help with a research project

I’ve been doing some research and data analysis  for a client recently and part of the project involved looking at some advertising websites to identify prices and locations of sellers.  I thought there must be an easier way than literally just reading the web-pages and creating a tallysheet of the data.  And, of course, there was!

Image source & link: import.io

I found import.io which is a free, web-based, tool that enables you to “scrape” data from websites and download it as an Excel spreadsheet.  There’s no plug-in, no training and no set-up. You simply type in the URL of the page you want to scrape and import.io does the rest.  I was able to use this quickly to build a spreadsheet of information from the adverts I was looking at so that I could do further analysis of the content, in Excel.

There’s also a blog here which has lots of articles and examples of how you can use import.io.

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