It’s time we tapped APIs for business analytics

With so much information flowing through APIs, the API management system offers a central hub for business insight

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The third challenge is identifying and implementing common analytics solutions that can be built on top of data collected from API calls. This includes figuring out the best algorithms as well as the best way to represent the data and best user experiences. This is a hard problem. However, compared to status-quo, where each organization or business unit has to figure out its own analytics, the proposed approach enables the development of reusable solutions for analytics scenarios.

APIs serve as a portal that shows how an organization works, providing information about the enterprise’s operations, interactions, and business unit details, among other insights. This presents an opportunity to instrument API management tools to collect data rather than instrumenting the entire enterprise.

In turn, API management instrumentation provides an opportunity to build turnkey API-driven analytics solutions that will minimize or even eliminate the need to coordinate multiple teams by making it possible to collect data through one logical layer and provide turnkey analytics scenarios for the organization. As a result, an analytics system that is integrated and built to work closely with API management tools can drastically reduce the cost of applying analytics and make it useful from the day one.

Srinath Perera is vice president of research at WSO2. He is a scientist, software architect, author, and speaker. He is a key architect behind Apache Axis2 and WSO2 Stream Processor.

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