APIs are an integral part to modern business intelligence tools, allowing you to extract your company’s data from software, web pages, and cloud storage.
APIs are basically software that exposes the functions of an individual application or web service as a set of HTTP request/response messages. This allows client applications access to the service without knowing how the service is implemented.
Almost every tech you engage with on a daily basis can be accessed by an API. This includes many websites that you use, like Facebook’s API, which allows other companies to create apps that interact with your Facebook data.
For effective business intelligence, APIs are vital. They enable all of your data to be accessible by external applications, allowing for more possibilities when it comes to building business intelligence software.
APIs are essential to building business intelligence because they provide access to your data, allowing others to build applications that you could never have foreseen. APIs help companies break free from the limitations of their current systems, opening up possibilities for new ways of increasing productivity and efficiency.
What can an API do?
APIs allow for a greater connection between your business and the outside world, allowing you to integrate with other companies or third-party software so that they can communicate with each other.
You can use APIs in various ways to develop effective business intelligence. They allow you to do everything from pulling data from your system, pushing data to your system, providing real-time data feeds, reporting on specific sets of data, or monitoring changes in certain aspects of your company’s performance.
APIs are essential for effective business intelligence because they allow integration with other software applications and third-party businesses to maximize efficiency.
Since APIs allow you to access all information from your database, you can use a third-party business intelligence solution to find much more data that allow for real-time updates.
There are a few different ways that you can implement APIs in your business intelligence structure:
1. Pulling data from your system
One of the most common ways that APIs are used within business intelligence is to pull data from your system. You can use the API as a central hub for all of your data, allowing external applications to access and interact with it as they see fit.
This is done through an API call and results in real-time updates within your business intelligence system. By creating a web service, you make the application available to other software that you might use in the future, including mobile applications.
3. Providing real-time data feeds
As mentioned above, APIs allow for real-time updates in your business intelligence software.
This allows you to see what’s happening in your company as it happens and make changes accordingly throughout the day. Since all of your data is available in one place, you can actually monitor the metrics that matter to your company from one coherent system.
4. Providing reports on specific data sets
APIs allow users to pull specific sets of information from your database. For example, if a business intelligence application needs to access all shipping records, it can do so by using an API call to your system.
5. Monitoring changes in your company’s performance
You can use APIs to monitor changes within your company by connecting to HR management software, payroll reports, or commission software for your sales team. Alerts can then be set up and sent via email or text message when those metrics exceed a certain threshold. This helps you stay on top of changes that might affect your business.
Real-world API examples
Many companies are already using APIs to maximize the efficiency of their business intelligence. Here are a few examples of API potential in business intelligence:
1. Salesforce has created an integration with Google Analytics so that businesses can get a better idea of their customers’ online habits. This helps them make well-informed decisions about the types of products they should be offering to maximize potential sales.
2. A company can use APIs to integrate business intelligence software with other systems in order to create effective remote monitoring solutions. This helps them alert customers, vendors, and suppliers about any potential problems or concerns.
3. Businesses can create their own APIs to pull data from or push data into different elements of their company’s business intelligence software. For example, imagine that your system allows users to pull revenue records on a daily basis; you could use an API to pull that information into another system, like your email marketing tool, to send customized emails.
4. A business can use API integrations to allow customers to access their own data if they need it for research or other similar projects. This cuts down on employees’ amount of time gathering and compiling reports.
APIs are an essential part of any business intelligence implementation because they provide you with the tools that you need to make decisions based on current data.
They also allow for future applications within your system, like real-time data feeds, reports on specific sets of data, and alerts when changes occur in certain aspects of your company’s performance.
When it comes to integrating your business intelligence software with mobile applications, web services, or another external system, APIs are the key.
For these reasons and more, it’s important that you understand how APIs work within your business intelligence system and how they can help you make well-informed decisions about your company’s performance.
Check out some related resources:
Achieving Actionable Intelligence: The Next Frontier in BI?
10 Ways to Turn Data into Actionable Insights
Eckerson on Actionable Intelligence
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