How to Automate Data Extraction Using Web Automation Software
Data and information rule the digital world. Every year we see an increase in digital media replacing paper and analog media across every medium. Public and financial institutions, academic and medical organizations, insurance, and real estate businesses transfer information to cloud services and digital media.
One of the most critical points in digitalizing regular services and processes is extracting and transferring data from one form of media to another. In this blog, we will learn how to automate the extraction and sharing of data between digital media.
What type of data and from which sources can you extract automatically?
With WinTask web automation, you can set up automatic extraction from any available source to a human operator. This means that any database, website, .csv table, or Google sheet can be used as a source for data extraction.
When it comes to data extraction, WinTask web automation services allow you to:
- Automatically access and parse any table of data to either find, extract, enter new, or replace existing information.
- Extract data from any web page and store it in a .csv table.
- Connect to multiple system databases to exchange data between them.
- Automate queries with easy-to-use WinTask functions.
Here’s a typical use case where data extraction is of great help to a business. Imagine an insurance company processing insurance claims from its clients. Here’s how WinTask automation would proceed:
- The client, faced with an insured event, fills out a claim form and sends it out to their insurance company.
- The automation program automatically opens the email and processes the form template, extracting the personal information of the insured client.
- The exact moment the automation script opens, the insurance company website’s admin panel creates a ticket and pre-fills all the extracted personal information for the insured client.
- After the respective insurance manager reviews the case, automation (guided by the script) generates an approval (or decline) email. The confirmation form is then attached and populated with all the necessary data from the insurance company.
This process saves a significant amount of employee resources for the insurance company and creates a positive experience for the client. According to our clients, data extraction and automated document routing can reduce the amount of time spent on these processes by 60% compared to manual data entry.
Steps to set up web automation and data extraction using WinTask
Let’s say you need to scrap product titles, URLs to these products, and prices from an e-commerce website. Here’s how easy the setup is in WinTask.
- You open WinTask and navigate to the web scraping option.
- Then, you start a record and mark all the elements you want WinTask to extract by simply highlighting them with your cursor.
- Once you select at least two items of the same pattern, WinTask will recognize the pattern and automatically extract all the elements within this pattern.
- After you set elements to extract, you should map them with the columns in the spreadsheet where all the data will be extracted to. This can be done quickly using the intuitive WinTask interface.
- After you set up the automation, you can run it, and all the data will be scrapped from a web page and then transferred to the Excel sheet.
If you are someone analyzing a competitor’s website, this is a lifesaving feature. Couple this with the ability to re-write data in an Excel sheet if the data on the website is updated, and you get a powerful tool for retrieving market research insights.
WinTask provides its automation with a built-in OCR feature. Optical Character Recognition technology allows for extracting text from graphics. This means that it can recognize words on any picture on the web and instantly process them into text format. You can integrate WinTask OCR as a part of your data scraping workflow out of the box.
Now let’s see what other industries besides marketing analysts can benefit from this type of automation and what their use cases are.
Industries that stand to benefit from data extraction the most
Medical institutions were one of the first to adopt desktop automation and reap the benefits in their daily processes, including:
- Patient intake
- HIPAA forms
- Healthcare staffing
- Claims processing
Typical healthcare workflows rely on the communication between patients and clinic staff. This communication involves processing patient information submitted on a variety of medical forms. Not so long ago, these forms used to be submitted in paper form. Now that most institutions in the US and EU have transitioned to digital workflows, data extraction has become a critical part of this transformation.
Banking and finance
For banking and financial operations, data extraction automation is key for ensuring compliance, reducing manual errors, and providing a better customer experience. The most common use cases to employ desktop automation include:
- Opening accounts
- Customer service
- Compliance with payment, financial, and security standards
- Commercial and consumer loan applications
Tax and accounting
Today, web automation is used extensively in accounting for extracting form data and merging it with systems of record in the cloud. This includes automation for the following accounting workflows:
- IRS tax forms
- LLC formation
- Variety of agreements
Compliance with critical financial regulations is essential for accounting automation as well. For example, accounting professionals can ensure that no errors in data entry are made. Also, not a single document will be sent to the wrong address with data extraction automation.
HR managers rely on data extraction automation in a variety of use cases. Most of them are related but not limited to employee management:
- Employee management
Providing a timely digital hiring experience is critical to hiring specialized candidates. Automation software like WinTask streamlines processes such as performance evaluations, policy updates, and role changes.
If you’re looking to scale and streamline workflows that rely on data extraction and processing, WinTask can help you. Try our 30-day free trial, and test automation for yourself to see how easy it is.
With almost 30 years of experience in this field, we have experience developing custom solutions of any complexity upon request. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need a consultation or a personalized demo.
This article has initially been published by Wintask as a guest post in GizTech Media.
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