Definitive guide

Scrape Data from Website to Excel WSS

Scrape Data from Website to Excel WSS – Ultimate Guide 2023

Scraping data from a website into Microsoft Excel has become the norm to quickly and accurately get tabulated information needed to gauge the status of business operations, conduct market research, or create academic reports. For newbies to data scraping, here’s an ultimate guide to what it is and how it can help speed up one’s online data gathering process.

Data Scraping Defined

TargetInternet defines Data Scraping as a process of getting information from a website into a file on your computer, particularly a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. Data Scraping is also alternately referred to as web scraping. It is useful in a variety of applications where data is transported. 

Some examples of its application include retrieving information such as contacts from a particular source like Twitter to be transferred into Excel. Another application is to pull the information from a website so that it will be displayed on another website, like a business’ product information and pricing being displayed in an eCommerce website. 

What is Excel WSS?

Not all spreadsheets are created equal, such as Google Spreadsheets, where data scraping is impossible. Scraping data from a website is often done through Microsoft Excel, which has the feature of handling complex database needs and functions.

Excel is capable of handling Windows SharePoint Services or WSS, which is a protocol created by Microsoft for File Operations Database Communications. 

The protocol is used whenever front-end web servers perform data queries on back-end database servers for group administration operations or as a file or document.

WSS is most useful for eCommerce websites that use data scraping to present table information on a product/s directly taken from the manufacturer’s website.

WSS is a feature, particularly in the 2007 version of Microsoft Excel as “Synchronizing Tables with SharePoint Lists,” that allows various tables to be synchronized. Microsoft has available documentation on how this is done once the add-in is downloaded and installed in Excel 2007. This feature, however, requires knowledge of programming codes in Excel to enable it to siphon live data from a website.

Is scraping data from a website legal? 

Scraping data from a website is generally legal, especially regarding public information. The legality of using data scraping may be regarded based on context and intent. Thus, it may require considerable care before being used.

Obstacles to scraping data from a website

Some businesses have created safeguards in their websites against data scraping. The common reasons these safeguards are put in place are: some information having a proprietary nature, the possibility of web servers being overloaded that in turn generate distorted site traffic reports due to the volume of requests in a given time, and some information that require paid subscription that website owners need to protect.

Steps to import or extract data from a website to excel

Despite these obstacles to scraping data, there are more websites one can access easily to import or extract information into a spreadsheet such as Excel. Experts recommend three ways businesses can do this:

a. Do it step-by-step – Scraping data from a website into Excel is for extracting simple information from a website. For example, getting the population by states in the United States from Wikipedia. 

1. Open Excel and go to the Data tab in the menu.


2. Click the “From Web” option under the Data Tab menu.

This will open a “New Web Query” pop-up window with an “Address” field. Copy the website’s link or URL and paste it into the “Address” field. Then click “Import.”

You can also customize or specify the actual data imported into Excel from a website by adding a command string after the website’s URL in the “Address” bar of the New Web Query window. Of course, this would require knowledge in computer programming that most internet users are unfamiliar with.

3. After clicking “Import,” Excel will process the query request and then prompt, “Where do you want to put the data?”

Just indicate the cell the data will be pasted in and choose if it will be in the current worksheet’s cell or a new one. 

 4. The data will then be pasted into the indicated cell.

The operation will not often extract solely the table needed but will include all information from the website in the page where the table is located. Should this be the case, just scroll down the worksheet to the table and delete all unnecessary information before it.

What’s important is, the table of information needed is intact and as is—removing any possibility of errors that may arise when one simply copy/paste from each cell repeatedly to get the data.

b. Download or purchase a software

Data scraping software is also available from various companies. These data scraping software vary in functionality, features, and pricing. It would be good to get a quote from various software providers before purchasing. 

c. Hire a team of professionals 

Many companies offer data scraping services to businesses like the WebScrapingSite. This step is recommended when the data that needs to be imported or extracted requires a complex operation such as consolidating several tables to come out with analytical data that will be presented in one Excel spreadsheet.

What tools are available to automatically pull data from a website into Excel?

Some companies that provide data scraping tools or software are HelpSystems and Octoparse. Both companies provide automated data scraping from websites to Excel. While WebscrapingSite highly recommends Bright Data as the number one data collection tool for programmers and Apify as the finest data collection for web data ease.

Scraping data from a website is an efficient way for gathering information online. But costs of hiring professionals and acquiring tools to automate the process may become a hindrance for some due to budgetary concerns. At the end of the day, keeping one’s intent and goal in mind is necessary to identify how best to take advantage of this tool to augment a business’ data gathering process.


What are the normal costs of purchasing a tool for scraping data from a website?

The cost of web or data scrapers ranges from $0-$500 (USD). Free data collection tools include ParseHub, which is easy for those with no programming background.

Can data be extracted from different websites or web pages into one Excel file?

Yes, eCommerce websites often display a listing of a particular company’s products, services, and pricing. This is also done when there is a need to do analytical reports, such as the number of product consumers for a given age group in a given locality. This would require knowledge of database formulas and programming, hiring professionals, or purchasing relevant software/s.

If you have other questions, feel free to message me! I’ll be happy to assist you with it.

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