Data Extraction Platforms: Three Options to Choose From

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Most business decisions require lots of data to back them up. One must know how your competitors are behaving, what's trending in the market, and what the consumers' opinions about your brand are. Data extraction platforms are the first step in filling this gap.

Since the need for data is big, there are many companies supplying you with tools. The market is so accessible that even without any coding knowledge and with little budget, you can start data extraction. Here, we'll discuss three options, but first, let's cover some basics.

What is Data Extraction?

Data extraction is a process of retrieving and categorizing data from different sources. Books, PDFs, databases, and websites are the main examples. Lately, however, online data extraction from online sources has become the main source of interest.

While data extraction is a broad term, it encompasses online data extraction that uses web scraping as the main method. It's a process of using automated scripts, called bots, to visit websites, make a list of available data, and extract it into a convenient format.

Only the last step provides you with the data, but the first two are essential so that you can accomplish it quickly and in the right structure later. You can't visit the website as a regular user, so scrolling APIs are used.

Simply put, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a way for two computer programs to exchange a bunch of code with one another. In the case of web browsing, the end user sees the website with its interface, but for online data extraction, this isn't necessary.

A web scraping API can fetch the data straight from the website's code, and then it is a matter of making it readable to humans. Each website is different, so at first, custom scrapers were the only option. Now that everyone needs data constantly, there are a lot of pre-built web scraping APIs available.

Instead of hiring programmers or learning to code, you can start extracting data right away with pre-built scrapers. Most websites are similar in design and anti-bot measures, so you don't need a custom solution every time. Some pre-built scrapers allow tweaking settings for customization at half the price it would take to build your own scraper.

Three options to consider


SOAX marketing aims to show it as a data extraction platform, but under the hood, it's just a proxy server provider with some web scrapers. They have invested in developing some good web crawlers, SERP scrapers, and e-commerce tools that can be used with their proxies.

SOAX AI scraper is worth an exceptional mention as it requires no coding skills and can fetch data using natural language instructions. Complicated data collection projects will require something more sophisticated, but it's a good start with data extraction.

The proxy servers they offer are both a benefit and a drawback. It's convenient to have everything in one place. Many proxy providers do it, but by choosing them, you risk missing out on better deals to acquire IP addresses.

SOAX isn't the best performing and is a bit overpriced. If their scraping APIs would work with other proxies, it would be a better product. Most of the time, you are better dedicated to scraping tools and SOAX alternatives that don't sell APIs.


Instead of using a tool that comes with proxies, it might be better to purchase a tool and then look for proxies. Not putting your eggs in one basket gives you a better bargaining position with providers so that you can get better deals. Octoparse provides the software part for web scraping.

This platform presents itself as a no-code solution for collecting data online. It works on a visual basis, allowing users to select the elements they want to extract. The expreniece with Octoparse doesn't differ much from when you surf the web normally. Except, of course, you have the option to extract the needed data.

Octoparse is unlikely to work well on its own. Once you start extracting more data, websites will notice and might restrict your IP address because you are sending too many requests. To avoid it, you’ll need to purchase proxies to route your traffic. Octoparse supports any proxy provider, which is a good plus since you can look for the best deals.

IPRoyal, for example, has a starting price of residential proxies for as low as $3 per gigabyte with a pay-as-you-go model available. It’s a much better deal than what SOAX offers, and combined with Octoparse, your web scraping success is almost guaranteed.


Apify is a cloud platform for entrepreneurs, marketers, and developers to create and share their web scraping APIs. You can choose from a variety of pre-built tools to collect data on different websites. Similarly to Octoparse, it uses an intuitive visual interface that allows one to create workflows or use those created by the community.

The main feature of Apify is its store, which acts as a marketplace to acquire tools for web scraping called actors. You can take existing code, tweak it to your needs, and accomplish needed tasks. It does require some coding knowledge, but you won't need to build tools from the ground up.

Compared to Octoparse and SOAX, Apify is a more versatile tool that can help you achieve more. However, there is a steep learning curve that will require you to invest some time learning your way around the platform. If you are a complete beginner, Octoparse might be better.

It's priced similarly to Octoparse, and you will need proxies to hide your IP address. However, the expenses are worth it because compared to building your own scraper, Apify is still much cheaper and accessible.


This only scratches the surface of what’s available online to start your data extraction projects. It sounds much more complicated than it actually is. Once you get some good residential proxies and a convenient tool, such as Octoparse, the process is quick and easy.

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