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‘Web data collection is a secret weapon’ – says Bright Data CEO

‘Web data collection is a secret weapon’ – says Bright Data CEO

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Web data collection is more than just a choice – it is at the heart of every SME’s business decision. Or Lenchner, CEO at Bright Data, speaks to Intelligent SME.tech and offers more insight into data collection.

Is web data collection the industry’s best kept ‘secret weapon’?

Public web data collection has become all industries’ go-to eyes and ears. It is your market reality check at all times. Being the largest database ever created, the Internet provides you with a comprehensive view of every aspect of your market, product or service offering, your customers and your competition. Being all that, can you really afford not to tap into web data?

However, the Internet is vast and far-reaching – and the public data on display can be messy, hard to approach and follow. This is why you have automated tools today – data collectors and more that simplify what may be seen as a complex, time-consuming resource that requires heavy operation into simply a few minutes or seconds of work. You need to know what you are looking for or what data would provide you with that much needed ‘winning’ card – i.e., what are the right questions that you need answers for – in order to make vital decisions. It is all out there on the Internet for the taking and to make what seems like an unpredictable outcome, predictable.

Data really is crucial to businesses everywhere, but what are the types of data that can be collected and how?

Everything that is relevant to an SME – starting with market research of course. More specific examples of different types of data that can be collected include your competitors’ activities, products or new offerings, changes, pricing and more related to your customers’ or consumers’ sentiments. Even online reviews that are relevant to you or perhaps addressing customers’ demands in real time.

For example, if you wish to launch a new service and you want to make sure that this new service is the right market fit, there are plenty of web channels, from public social media to forums and more, that can tell you a story and reaffirm or contradict your decision before you make that all-consuming costly decision. You just need to treat the Internet as your eyes and ears. Before every decision, ask the important questions and get your answers in real time before you set yourself on a challenging path.

We work with a company that wants to become, in their words, ‘the single source of truth for container logistics in the world’. As you know, supply-chain management is a huge deal in any kind of business’s life cycle as it counts on those deliveries. To make sure they reach their goal and keep succeeding, they collect web data on container movements daily and provide that information after analysis to their customers. This helps them stay true to their commitment and allow their customers to manage their containers on one single platform. This is something that in the past took them an average of 82 emails to move a single container.

So, can you tell our audience more about what Bright Data do, how you help customers collect publicly available data, and where you are now as a business?

Bright Data is the industry-leading web data collection platform. We work with over 15,000 customers, many of them SMEs from across almost every industry. Whether it is e-commerce, finance, travel, healthcare and more, access to public web data can make a real difference between winning and winning more of your market share.

We are a product-led company that takes pride in its many innovations and it’s why our customers work with us. To put it simply, web data is exploding, so our solutions extend to serving this fact. They range from automated solutions that you can build, like your own automated collector, based on your needs so you can get the data delivered to you with no coding experience needed, to existing data sets that are available for the taking, to more complex solutions and infrastructure that are aimed at the more tech-savvy among us. There is a suite of products and services that addresses every possible web data requirement and that ensures you get access to the public channels needed to power your next business moves, with real-time, reliable information as quickly as needed.

As a CEO of a data company with 400 employees, looking at the competition out there, what helps ensure that you and your company are advancing in the right path? What is your secret sauce?

If you’re a business, your success and longevity relies on how fast you can keep up with the many moving parts or data points and address them precisely in the right way. As a company, this is our job – to deliver this shifting reality to you – or the reality you ask us to follow. After all, there is no better way to follow the reality that is most important to your business than with web data.

Now, when it comes to being a CEO, I follow the same kind of strategy. Being a CEO means you need to always be on top of those moving parts and to always have a well-calculated plan. Whether it is dealing with market changes or shifts in customers’ needs, or even shifts in your team, having that bird’s eye view and a detailed down-to-earth perspective, are necessary components of any CEO’s strategy. I simply live in the different real-time layers, just like our thousands of customers do. I find that this is the formula that always works for me (and probably for our customers, too).

That data-driven ‘dual view factor’ is my personal secret sauce.

Any tips or advice for companies out there looking to dip their toes in collecting data from the Internet, but perhaps haven’t yet?

Every step in the web data ecosystem starts with a challenge that needs addressing and most likely needs to be done now. So, to make sure you are not wasting any time and getting the web data you need, start small by defining the challenge and the data you need most. Then, collect it manually before moving to automating it on a larger scale. That first step of testing your theory will save you a lot of valuable time in your discovery journey and will ensure that your next big step into the data world is one that is powered by vast knowledge that leads you to the right kind of decision.

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