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Digital Tools, Platforms, and Resources

Digital tools, platforms, and resources.

Data Scraping

Data scraping involves collecting unformatted data, often from online sources, and organizing the raw data into a structured format for analysis. Data scraping can involve coding or using a computer program or platform to automate the scraping for the user.  


Netlytic is a cloud-based social media and text analyzer that facilitates data scraping that does not require experience with APIs or coding. Netlytic supports data collection from Twitter, YouTube, RSS Feeds, or text/csv files uploaded by users. Netlytic supports the collection of data as well as limited text analysis including keyword extraction, the application of dictionaries, and network analysis. Netlytic offers users tiers of free access.  


Communalytic is a platform that enables users to study online discourse and collect data from Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook/Instagram (via CrowdTangle). Communalytic enables users to engage in text and social network analysis, particularly to study the toxicity level of online conservations, to track the spread of information, and to identify user connections. Communalytic has a robust free tier of user access for students and educators.  


4CAT Capture and Analysis Toolkit is a software that allows users to collect online data from multiple platforms ranging from Twitter, to 4chan, to Telegram, to Tumblr among others, however, some platforms require users to in-put credentials or interact with APIs for access. 4CAT facilitates multiple forms of analysis including textual and network analysis. 4CAT is developed by the Open Intelligence Lab and the Digital Methods Initiative from the University of Amsterdam. While 4CAT is a powerful and dynamic software it is more suited to advanced users because of its multiple functionalities.