WatersTechnology: In Pursuit of API-ness: Rise of API Interfaces Hints at Data Platforms of the Future

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Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) aren’t new. They aren’t sexy. They’re pretty boring, actually. They’re simple gateways that allow applications to talk to each other. So, while market data becomes ever-more complex and valuable for areas such as data science, and the options for delivery of that market data turn to new technologies like the cloud, why are providers getting so excited about the humble API?

Think price, performance, and stability. As the data world erupts in an explosion of new datasets, alternative data, and new use cases for traditional data—in many cases, all in combination with each other—the industry needs increasingly sophisticated tools to make sense of that data and turn it into insight that is relevant, actionable, and timely. As the cost of the technical resources required to achieve that—and the personnel required to engineer those solutions—goes up, firms are seeking mechanisms that give them greater control over how they access data. Hence, the API’s renaissance.

“The use of APIs to access market data is exploding across the industry, and it’s primarily being driven by the cost savings and performance improvements they allow for,” says Patrick Flannery, CEO of data provider MayStreet.

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