Introducing Web Scraping in Price Data Collection
The International Comparison Program (ICP) team at ESCWA has been exploring new ways to improve price statistics in the Arab Region by using technology to implement non-traditional data collection methods. This initiative aims at increasing data collection frequency and quality, while also growing work efficiency by facilitating continuous automated extraction of price data for both CPI and ICP purposes.
A training workshop on price-data web scraping from major online outlets was carried out at the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) in Kuwait, under this frame, to train the national team and forge its skills in web scraping to be utilized in conjunction with the traditional data collection process
The training was attended by 5 participants from the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) in Kuwait and focused on:
- Introducing the potential uses, benefits, and the challenges of Big Data and non-traditional data collection methods such as scanner data and web scraping.
- Demonstrating web scraping of price data from national online outlets for technological products.
- Teaching and training the participants on coding and writing the web scraping algorithms in Python language from scratch, using different structures and scripts according to the nature of each online outlet
- Direct application of price web scraping from reliable major online outlets in Kuwait, whereby participants applied the transferred knowledge and dealt with the faced challenges in each outlet.