API Analytics

What Is API Analytics and Why Is It Important for Your Business?

This API Analytics article is part of our Guest Post series by Sophia Reyes. 

Analytics, or the discipline of interpreting data to find meaningful patterns, is now one of the defining tools of doing business in the modern era. Thanks to advancements in the tech industry—notably for application programming interfaces, or APIs—business are better equipped to use data to their advantage. Analytics can be a means of diagnosing and solving hidden problems in the business funnel, as well as identifying opportunities for growth.

Here, then, comes the issue of API analytics, or surveying the performance of an API product according to certain metrics. Say, for example, you’ve recently acquired an API for your business in your quest to digitize your company. How else would you be able to tell whether that decision has paid off for you?

API analytics should provide the answers to the following questions:

  • How big a role is your API playing in furthering your goals for business expansion?
  • What are your sales forecasts like based on what your API is telling you?
  • How much more competitive is your API making you, compared to how competitive you were before?
  • What business data can you use in order to improve your decision-making?
  • Which opportunities should you take in order to improve your company’s digital services to your customers?

The good news is, API analytics and other API management tools like the OpenAPI editor are now widely accessible to businesses. They can also deliver the information in more digestible forms for the less “techie” company stakeholders, like product managers and marketing managers. Now’s your chance not only to use an API for your business, but to understand what exactly it contributes to your growth. Keep reading for a complete beginner’s guide on API analytics.

What Does API Analytics Entail?

Your journey with API analytics starts with a better understanding of what exactly is to be analyzed. What is it that you should evaluate your API for? What important business information can it deliver to you, the business client?

Though there’s no universal standard for appraising APIs, most companies that perform API analytics do so using certain key performance indicators (KPIs). Some of the most common KPIs, or performance metrics for APIs, are the following.

The API’s Uptime

Among the most important KPIs is uptime, or how consistently available your API is to your intended end users. Those in charge of monitoring this metric will study it for ways to keep your uptime excellent. They will also devise ways to handle outages without causing dire inconvenience to your customers.

The API’s Number of Requests Per Minute

Requests per minute, or RPM, pertains to how many times a minute your business’s API is being called. This is another factor that should be very carefully analyzed for what it actually means. A high RPM rate may not be a good thing in and of itself. Sometimes it can be symptomatic of a larger problem, like how many failed attempts your customers have made to engage with your API.

The API’s Latency

Another common KPI is latency, or how much time elapses from when the API first takes your customer’s call to when it responds. Latency is a valuable indicator that things are either going smoothly or roughly for your API. In their study of the API’s latency, the analytics team may find solutions for any obstacles in the way of your customers’ calls.

The API’s Errors Per Minute

Yet another metric that should be part of the API’s analytics process is errors per minute. There may be particular problems bogging down your customers’ experience with your API. You would not want for these to ruin your customers’ opinion of your business forever. Your API analytics should help you understand what kinds of errors are happening. They should also indicate where exactly the errors are coming from, whether it’s from code or from faulty API documentation.

Customer Profiles for Users of Your API

Your API analytics should also help you derive insight on who exactly is using your API product. These will inform you about the age range, location, and other qualities about the customer demographic that’s engaging with your API. Once you know what kind of users your API is benefiting, you may be able to expand your business to people of similar backgrounds.

Mobile API

The API’s Effect on Your Revenues and Expansion

Lastly, the API analytics process should be able to give you direct insight on how exactly your API is contributing to your growth and profits. The data should be able to reveal how many conversions your API is responsible for and how much money it made for a certain process. You may also be able to find out how many new users began engaging the API over the course of a week, month, or quarter. Knowing more about the most favorable conditions for your API will help you replicate the success in the future.

Conclusion: How API Analytics Can Help Your Company Grow

Achieving true success with an API product means different things for everyone. Your KPIs for the product you use will be distinct from those of another company. For example, if you work in fintech, you will want to know how many customers used your API for payment transactions. If you own an ecommerce store, you’ll want analytics done for how many people signed up to your store’s newsletter using an email API.

Whatever the case may be, your goal should be to use API analytics and API management tools to fulfill your own business’s objectives. It isn’t enough to acquire an API and assume that good things will come soon after. The rewards lie in harnessing a more data-driven, analytical, and purposeful approach to using your new business API.

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