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How to Use Data Lizard at Datalizards.com

How to Use Data Lizard v2.4


How to use Data Lizard to monitor the competitive information. (e.g. product prices, sales, reviews, etc.)
How to use Data Lizard to create a new website monitoring manager.

1.Import a Data (product) Feed File
2.Software Settings
3.Website Monitoring Managers
  • Import a data (product) feed file in the specification of Google shopping
  • Import a .txt file
  • Use Data Feed Converter
  • Database Management
  • Setup proxy servers
  • Handle the 503 error
  • Setup the time interval between two retries for a configured website
  • Select a style for browsing the detailed competitive information
  • Manage Plugins of Data Lizard v2.4
  • Step 1:Start the configuration
  • Step 2:Configure basic attributes
  • Step 3:Extract data fields
  • Step 4:Apply your new plugins or configured website monitoring managers
4.Product Management
5.Data Extraction and Competitive Monitoring
6.Help and Update
  • Modify product information
  • Setup a product category into the disabled status or delete it from the monitoring list permanently
  • Browse the product information
  • Start or pause a data extraction task
  • Monitor competitive information
  • Monitor important webpages based on URLs
  • View log
  • Generate diagrammatic reports and tables to support various business statistics for users
  • Export new data (product) feed file
  • Check log
  • Get help
  • Update the Data Lizard
  • Visit our forum
  • Contact us

1.Import a Data (product) Feed File:

  • Import a data (product) feed file in the specification of Google shopping: Data Lizard v2.4 can import data (product) feed files in types of both XML and Excel. Please note: If you successively load in several data feed files, Data Lizard v2.4 will automatically merge these data feed files together, and then monitor product items in them according to product category classification (the product category is defined by the data field of 'g:product_type' in Google products feed specification). Moreover, these merged product items can be outputted to form a new data (product) feed file through clicking the "Output a Data (Product) Feed File" button from database management settings. If you don’t need this augmented merging, you can delete the loaded data feed file through clicking "Empty" button from database management settings, and then load in a new data feed file.
  • Import a .txt file: Import a .txt file that contains a set of URLs for monitoring and tracking the content changes of web pages in these URLs (Please make sure to have one URL per line in the .txt file).
  • Use Data Feed Converter: Use Data Feed Converter to converter among different types of data feed files or data feed specifications specified by different commercial websites. More importantly, if the specification of your data feed file do not conform to the Google products feed specification, please use the Data Feed Converter to convert it (Please see a simple example of a data feed conforming to the Google specification used in the Data Lizard v2.4 at here).

2.Software Settings:

  • Database Management: Users can empty all loaded product items stored in a database schema of the Data Lizard v2.4. More importantly, Users can also export data feed file in file type of XML conforming to Google products feed specification. If you had loaded several data feed files, all data (product) items from different files will be merged in the new output data feed file.
  • Setup proxy servers: Users can set up and manage their proxy servers.
  • Handle the 503 error: Users can setup the data extraction and monitoring parameters to avoid the 503 error. For example, users can setup the time interval between two retries for extracting a data (product) item from a configured website within a data extraction task (a data extraction task is used to extract values of the monitoring data (product) items for a new competitive information monitoring work and it can batch extract massive data (product) feed items in the loaded data (product) files from several configured websites.
  • Setup the time interval between two retries for a configured website: If a data (product) item extraction from a configured website has encountered an error, the Data Lizard will retry this extraction immediately, and if the maximum retry times exceeded, Data Lizard will skip this website and start to extract this item from the next configured website. If a data (product) item cannot be successfully extracted from any configured website, Data Lizard will skip this item and start to extract the next one. When the maximum number of continuous skips of data (product) items has reached, Data Lizard will stop the extraction and monitoring task for the corresponding product category.
  • Select a style for browsing the detailed competitive information: Users can select three different browsing styles - "List Page", "Detail Page" and "Review Page" to read the competitive information through double mouse clicking on a product item that you are monitoring in the main monitoring window or left mouse clicking on a product item to select a browsing style directly through the popup menu.
  • Manage Plugins of Data Lizard v2.4: Users can check the current installed plugins or setup the usage status of a plugin.

3.Website Monitoring Managers:

Users can create a new website monitoring manager to customized extract and monitor data (product) items in their data feed files from a website through following steps: (Please note: If you need data extraction and monitoring services with very high accuracy and efficiency from a website, please contact us to get a specially designed website monitoring plugin.)
  • Step 1:Start the configuration. Press the "Create a New Website Monitoring Manager" button to start the configuration process.
  • Step 2:Configure basic attributes. Users need to :
    1) fill a name for a monitoring manager;
    2) provide a universal URL structure for product searching webpages;
    3) provide a URL example for a typical product searching webpage.
    Please make sure to provide a universal URL structure for product searching webpages generated by the product searching engine of the target website, which is used by Data Lizard v2.4 to batch extract and monitor product items listed in your data (product) feed files from a target website. For example, the "http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?field-keywords= ProductName" is a universal expression of the URL structure for product searching engine that is searching for products with name defined by the variable of "ProductName" on amazon (e.g. it can express product searching webpages of http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?field-keywords=iphone, http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?field-keywords=Palm20%TX20%Handheld, etc.). If your typical product name contains connection symbols (e.g. "+", hyphen, "20%"etc.), please use blank spaces to substitute it when you fill the text box of "A URL example for a typical product searching webpage" (e.g."http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?field-keywords=iphone 4s").
  • Step 3:Extract data fields. Determine extraction locations for extracting values of various data fields required by Data Lizard v2.4 for further batch monitoring data (product) items in data feed files. Every data (product) item in a data (product) feed file has a product searching webpage provided by the product searching engine of a commercial website to describe it, so extraction locations are used to indicate where the values of data fields can be extracted from product searching webpages with same URL and HTML node (element) structures. As data fields used by Data Liard include Price, Number of stores, Reviews, Related Image, Detail, URL of the Review Page, URL of the Detail Page, the extraction locations and methods should be defined as follows:
    (1)Extract the data field of "Price".
    To extract a numerical value, Data Lizard v2.4 provides two ways (extraction methods):
    1) Extract the first numerical data in the selected HTML node;
    2) Extract the selected content.
    For example, firstly you should put your mouse on the location displaying a product price from a product searching webpage rendering in the embedded browser of Data Lizard v2.4 (the selected product price on this webpage will be encompassed by a blue border to indicate the effective selection). Secondly, right mouse click on this selected content to choose a data extraction method – "Extract the first numerical data in the selected HTML node" on the popup menu. At last, user needs to match this extraction location with a data field ("Price" in this example), and then a sample value of the "price" will be displayed in the corresponding text box for verifying validity of the "Price" extraction. Please make ensure that the sample value of "Price" only contains numerical value for further monitoring and comparison services of Data Lizard v2.4.






    (2)Extract other data fields with numeric values.
    Users can extract other data fields with numeric values (e.g. number of stores, reviews) in the same process as "Price". For example, you can left click your mouse to select a numeric data from a product searching webpage, and then choose the extraction method "Extract the selected content" to extract a sample value from a specific location of a product searching webpage. At last, you need match the selected numerical value with a data field ("Number of Stores" in this example).






    (3)Extract the data field of "Detail".
    To extract data content in string format, users can choose extraction method "Extract the content encompassed by the selected HTML node". For example, you need to put your mouse on a location that you want to extract (e.g. a detailed description for a product), and the selected HTML node on this webpage will be encompassed by a blue border to indicate the effective selection. Then, right click your mouse and select the extraction method "Extract the content encompassed by the selected HTML node". At last, you need to match the selected content with a data field (the ‘Detail’ in this example). (Please note: this extraction method can be used for other data fields when you want to extract the entire content encompassed by a HTML node <a tag pair>.)






    (4)Extract the data field of "Related Image".
    To extract a product image, users can choose extraction method "Extract images". For example, you need to put your mouse on an image that you want to extract, and the selected image on this webpage will be encompassed by a blue border to indicate the effective selection. Then, right mouse click and select the extraction method "Extract images". At last, you need to match the selected content with a data field (the "Related Image" in this example).






    (5)Extract the data field of "URL of the Review Page".
    To extract URLs of webpages, users can choose extraction method "Extract hyperlinks". For example, you need to put your mouse on content that contains a hyperlink linking to the product review webpage, and the selected content will be encompassed by a blue border to indicate the effective selection. Then, right click your mouse and select the extraction method "Extract hyperlinks". At last, you need to match the selected content with a data field (the "URL of the Review Page" in this example). Data Lizard v2.4 can automatically identify whether the HTML node of selected content contains a hyperlink or not. In this example, the reviews on product searching webpages of amazon have hyperlinks navigating to their product review webpages, so when you right mouse click on the reviews of a product and the extraction method "Extract hyperlinks" is available to select. (Please note: this extraction method can be used for other data fields when you want to extract hyperlinks (e.g. "URL of the Detail Page".)






  • Step 4:Apply your new plugins or configured website monitoring managers. After completing the configuration process, you can use your new configured website monitoring manager to extract and monitoring data (product) items from the target website.
    (1)Firstly, you need to add your new configured monitoring manager to monitor a product category. For example, you can right mouse click on a category "Camera" and select "Add/Remove Monitoring Plugins/Managers" on the popup menu.
    (2)Secondly, you can add or remove a monitoring plugin or manager on the popup dialog.
    Please note: the special designed plugins of Data Lizard v2.4 for extractions and monitorings of product items in data feed files can also be added or removed here. Currently, Data Lizard v2.4 provides four free use website monitoring plugins for users (Google shopping, amazon, newegg and ebay).






    Please note: Currently, the extraction and monitoring accuracy and efficiency of user configured monitoring managers are strongly dependent on the stability and commonality of webpage structures of their target commercial websites, and we will improve our fuzzy matching algorithms in future. If you need to extract and monitor your competitive information from a website with very high accuracy and efficiency, please contact us to get a specially designed website monitoring plugin.

4.Product Management:

  • Modify product information: Users can modify the names, brands, prices and categories of their local product items stored in the database of Data Lizard v2.4 for the new monitoring.
  • Setup a product category into the disabled status or delete it from the monitoring list permanently: If users don't want to monitor some product categories temporarily, they can setup it into the disabled status. Users can also delete a product category permanently from the monitoring lists. (Please Note: Data Lizard v2.4 will not extract and monitor any information for a product category in the disabled status).
  • Browse the product information: Users can browse competitive products information in three different styles ("List Page", "Detail Page" and "Review Page") by left mouse clicking on a product item to select a browsing style through the popup menu in the main monitoring window.


5.Data Extraction and Competitive Monitoring:

  • Start or pause a data extraction task: Users can start or pause to extract and monitor all product categories in a monitoring list or just start or pause to extract and monitor some of them.
  • Monitor competitive information: Data Lizard v2.4 can batch extract and monitor the competitive product information in the main monitoring window. For example, Data Lizard v2.4 can alert you that your prices are higher than the competitive prices extracted from the target websites with red down arrows in the price column. Please Note: Please move the scroll bar on the main monitoring window or expand a product item by clicking the "+" to refresh your extracting and monitoring information.
  • Monitor important webpages based on URLs: Data Lizard v2.4 can also monitor changes of char counts for the concerned webpages. For example, if the char count of a webpage changed, the structure of this webpage may also changed, so users need to modify their website monitoring managers created in Data Lizard v2.4 to ensure accuracy and efficiency of data extractions and monitoring: Click the "Import a .txt File Containing an URL List" control tab and provide URLs of webpages that you want to monitor.






    Please note: Please move the scroll bar on the main monitoring window to refresh your extracting results.
  • View log: The detailed extraction and monitoring log is displayed in the console part of Data Lizard v2.4.
    Please note: log can be cleared by left mouse clicking on the console part.
  • Generate diagrammatic reports and tables to support various business statistics for users: These reports and tables can help users to record and track core business information of competitors, including the price trends (dates, frequencies and price changes by competitors), new product updates and old products removed from shelves, etc.
  • Export new data (product) feed file: If users updated their product information in Data Lizard, they can export new data (product) feed files (in type of XML)through database management settings to backup or use them on other places (e.g. other PCs installed Data Lizard v2.4).

6.Help and Update:

  • Check log: Users can check log for system operation records.
  • Get help: Users read the user guide of Data Lizard v2.4.
  • Update the Data Lizard: Users can check the updated version of Data Lizard.
  • Visit our forum: User can visit the forum of Data Lizard.
  • Contact us: Please contact us if you have any questions, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.