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Web data mining, also known as screen scraping, web scraping and data extraction is using software and tools to extract data from sources that are not formatted to be used as automated data sources. Most web information comes from web pages, often in the form of html that is formatted for a human being to read, rather than a computer. This presents obstacles for the automated system, such as embedded images, multimedia, or formatting elements that are not a part of the desired text (which is to be analyzed). Web data mining has grown out of the large volumes of data freely available on the web. Prior to data mining becoming a stand-alone task, business analysts and statisticians extracted and analyzed datasets.
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