What can an API do for my company?
Companies often hire programmers to make some of their data or software capabilities available to the public and other businesses. The company creates an API which “exposes endpoints,” a portion of the language they’ve used to build their program. Other programmers can then pull data or functionality from the application.
API integrations can be used to connect the different components of your company’s tech stack to make them talk to other company APIs and pass data seamlessly.
A simple example of getting your company tech stack components to talk to each other might be ‘For instance you might want to get your eBay sales to instantly update records in your accounting package, you would check the capabilities of your eBay API and get a developer to link them to your Accounting software API.’ Big companies such as eBay and Amazon make part of their programming available through APIs for purposes such as that, so do accounting packages such as Sage and Quickbooks.
Some companies might have longitude and latitude coordinates on one company database that they want to convert to place names and send to another company database. The manual time involved in this would be massive, and the cost of developing of a relatively simple API is on average $20,000. An API working with potentially billions of geo location coordinates would not be a relatively simple API to build from scratch. However, if you were to search for a prebuilt one online it would only cost your company a few dollars to use on a pay as you go basis.
There are APIs created for just about every imaginable process that any company would ever need for a workflow process. Whether it is big data that your company needs to carry out industry analysis, or software functionality such as currency conversion, web scraping, creating maps points from longitude and latitude coordinates, word document to pdf document conversion. The list goes on. If there is a business need for it, some developer has probably created an API for it. It won’t be as expensive as you think. Access to big data and advanced processes is really affordable these days.
Introduce efficiency to your business
Wouldn’t it be great if your company didn’t have to worry about employees having do repetitive tasks such as data-transfer, file updating, research tasks that drain hours of productivity.
There are tasks that your company struggles to do every day, maybe several times a day, or planning to do and just doesn’t have the time to implement a manual process because it would take a lot of time and mental effort to implement.
APIs can really make a difference to your workflow automation. Automating repetitive tasks can make your whole team more efficient and reduce costly human errors. With an API automating intricate data extraction and processing, instead of wasting time on tedious tasks, you can focus on the important parts of your job.
APIs can make many intricate tasks work together
Whatever intricate task your company is planning to do with its data, it is always best to search for a pre-built API online first from trusted service providers such as APILayer who provide a range of APIs that can access a wide range of data and perform highly technical functions such as:
Getting a geolocation from an ip address. You company server administrator may have noticed unusual DDOS attacks on your company website from several thousand IP addresses, with ipapi IP address location and IP reverse lookup API, and a few lines of Python code, the identities of the IP addresses can be quickly identified and exported to a spreadsheet and reported to the relevant hosting companies and authorities.
Need detailed country statistics? There are APIs which will help you pull detailed country statistics about a list of countries you have on your database.
Do you need to keep UpToDate on news on keywords or brands your company might be monitoring? With the right API you don’t need to be paying an employee an hourly rate to do this. You can use a news API that can scan several thousand news sources and extract all current and historical records in a few minutes.
Need advanced analysis of phone numbers? Doing a telephone billing procurement exercise and need more detail, you can use a number verification API to bulk check thousands of records on your digital mobile phone bill to reveal country and carrier.
APIs are the lego of computer coding.
If you can imagine it, it can be built.
Example 1: Build a travel planner and reconnaissance software for your traveling sales executives
Want a software program that gives you all the combinations of flight companies you can use from departure point A to destination B?
Step 1: Get your inhouse techy to start with a flight API.
Step 2: Want to pull up some interesting statistics about the destinations? Add a country API.
Step 3: Want some current news feeds about the destinations? Add in a news API. Step 4: Want to know what companies sell stocks in those countries? Add in a stock API.
For a couple of thousand dollars rather than a few hundred thousand dollars you can now build a system that shows your travelling executive combinations of flight routes, statistics, news and valuable companies in countries they are visiting.
Example 2: Converting a currency on a wholesale website to the live time prices of several other currencies.
If your company regularly monitors prices of items on wholesale websites and needs to convert to international currency prices after adding an altered profit markup, there are a couple of APIs that can help you build such software quickly and efficiently.
Step 1: You could get your inhouse techy to use a scraping API to scrape wholesale prices from one website,
Step 2: and then be able to represent those prices with your altered profit markup to clients in several hundred other currency prices using a currency API.
Why not think up an idea for a computer program that you would like to create to make working with your company data easier, or getting data for your company easier, break it down into steps for what it has to be able to do, and research whether you can get a ready made API for each step?
Sometimes you don’t need to start with a new idea of something you want to do for your company. Just look at what your company currently does and consider if there is an API solution that might support it.
APIs are so important for building automated workflows of different applications, to
Get rid of time-consuming manual labor
Seamlessly transfer data that might otherwise require manual input and incur versioning issues
Enable you to do more of the important work you need to, faster.
For most companies, it is important to know that their data processes are secure and kept confidential which is why many API service providers offer Premium plans that come with extended customer support, SSL encryption.
Companies need to know that software processes that support their current data processing, that those processes can be scaled to meet the company’s future needs if larger amounts of queries need to be done such as bulk/batch processing of files.
Good API solutions will be secure and scale with your business.
Find out more from apilayer.com