Going The Extra Mile When Making Data Available Via API On A Data Marketplace

March 19, 2018
We spend a lot of time looking at market data that is available not only through one specific data marketplace but via the growing number of data marketplaces present across the landscape. There are a wealth of different approaches to making data available via APIs, from a technical, as well as business perspective. Some of the easiest to use APIs publish a single endpoint for each available data set, while others provide a single endpoint for querying many different data sets, making it more difficult to understand what is actually available via the data marketplace--requiring consumers to do the hard work, rather than investing in discovery at the platform level.

A data marketplace that provide a single API for all data within the marketplace will do not do as well as the marketplaces who do the extra work to provide individual APIs for each data set within their catalog. It takes a significant amount of work to flesh out a meaningful profile for each data set, including a good title, description, tags, and other meta data. As well as producing a single API path for accessing the data contained within the data set. However, it is work that will pay off when it comes to attracting data consumers, and reducing the time each new user will have to spend finding what they are looking for, and actually integrating data into their applications--reducing friction when it comes to getting started.

Going The Extra Mile When Making Data Available Via API On A Data MarketplaceIt may seem like a lot more work to design, and deploy a separate API for each data set, but think of it in terms of API SEO. Nobody will find the data set, if you don't invest in the metadata required for good API SEO. On the other hand, there is an opportunity for other developers to come in and do the hard work to build out the SEO and discovery layer for each data marketplace, but shouldn't this be the objective of the data marketplace in the first place? Otherwise, why get into the business of publishing data? It just seems like some marketplaces are being lazy when it comes to publishing their APIs, and providing access to their (hopefully) valuable market data catalog.

Ok, why are we bringing this up? Well, Streamdata.io is in the business of proxying and streaming the data contained within these marketplaces. When it comes to the marketplaces that require extra work, we often have to move on, and not profile the API as part of our Streamdata.io API Gallery. We only have enough bandwidth to focus on market data APIs that provide direct access to a valuable data sets, and if we have to do all the heavy lifting to profile the data, we are usually forced to move on. This means that we have to pass up on a lot of valuable data that our customers would be more than happy to pay to access, and begin streaming--this isn't good for our business, or the business of the data marketplaces.

We recommend that data marketplaces invest in properly profiling their data sets, publishing individual landing pages that showcase what is being offered, as well as a single API path for each individual data set. Additionally we encourage them to further describe their APIs using the OpenAPI specification, and index their entire marketplace using APIs.json. If data marketplaces invest in this additional work, then service providers, and other data marketplaces will instantly be able to index and publish data, and begin routing new leads their way. With just a little more investment, the chances data will be discovered, and put to use will significantly go up--if not, potential consumers like Streamdata.io will just move on to the next data marketplace on the list.

If you want to discuss how we can help you design your APIs, feel free to get in touch.

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