When you invest in an API strategy, you want to make sure your efforts are reaping benefits. But this level of visibility is not always easy to access. It’s only when you have access to API product intelligence via API product management that you can get a full view of how your API-led initiatives are contributing back to your business (and those of your partners).
Before we dive into the dimensions of API product intelligence and the KPIs associated with them, let’s establish the value of API product intelligence as a starting point.
What are the four dimensions of API product intelligence?
We highlighted the four dimensions of API product intelligence in detail during a recent Axway webinar on this topic. In summary, API product intelligence can be divided into four different categories:
- Delivery: How well are products brought to market?
- Performance and quality: How well is the product working?
- Adoption: How is the target market using the product?
- Value: How is the product contributing to customers?
By applying these four dimensions to APIs and starting to think of APIs as products, you’ll have a much easier time tracing back exactly how your API-led initiatives are impacting the business in positive ways.
Too often, businesses see APIs as tech-led integrations. But this vantage point fails to think through how the APIs will be viewed and consumed.
Are the APIs curated in a meaningful way? Are they built for easy reuse? Are self-service capabilities available within the API storefront?
These are some critical factors to consider within the scope of your API product management journey. Here is an important point that must be considered from our webinar.
The age of digital product intelligence: new opportunities in the feedback loop
Product intelligence has long been a critical component in the product lifecycle. Businesses need to understand what’s working about their product in the eyes of users (and what’s not!) so they can realize the value they are getting out of it.
In the world of physical products, obtaining this feedback has proven difficult. Customer satisfaction surveys, for instance, can offer insights into consumers’ experiences with the product, but these surveys often only have a response rate of 10-30%, leaving out critical links in the feedback loop (good and bad).
Digital products like APIs offer a seamless connection in the feedback loop. When a consumer subscribes to an API, you can obtain immediate and continuous feedback from their interactions with the product. Instead of waiting for consumers to fill out surveys or leave reviews, the product metrics you care about are made accessible in real time.
Related: What is an API Product and what is its role in a successful API strategy?
Connecting API product intelligence dimensions to KPIs
Digital products provide a unique opportunity for businesses to tap into automated feedback. Using the four API product intelligence dimensions as a jumping off point, you can tap into quantitative (and also qualitative) metrics that help you see the best results from your API strategy. Below are some examples.
Delivery: what is the speed to API delivery?
Seeing the value that APIs bring to the table, it’s only natural that accelerating their time to market offers big benefits. Assessing the time it takes to deliver APIs provides you with insights into ways you can help streamline the process and launch new functionalities faster.
Performance: how many transactions per day, per API?
The number of API transactions that are completed on a daily basis are an indicator of how effective digital products are in other companies’ operations. Quantifying these transactions also provides insight into what steps are needed to preserve a high-functioning system based on the sheer volume of transactions.
Adoption: what is the API reuse rate?
For APIs to be truly enterprise APIs, they must be built for reuse across multiple products/applications. Research shows companies stand to save nearly US$ 30K on average every time they reuse an API.
Beyond cost considerations, reuse saves development time on your end, and having these reusable components in place makes it easier for external consumers and partners to confidently integrate APIs into their own operations.
Value: what is the direct revenue from API traffic?
Considering the importance of API monetization, it only makes sense to evaluate the revenue that is directly tied to selling API-enabled products. This metric can help you see which APIs are having the biggest impact on business operations from a cost standpoint and where there is room for even more growth.
Leveraging API product intelligence begins with proper API management
When done right, API assets can provide digital capabilities that can be bundled into digital products. From product inception to implementing changes based on feedback, an API management tool with a marketplace component offers you more visibility into API subscription and usage metrics.
This API product intelligence helps you focus your efforts on making APIs that are not only faster and easier to consume, but also identify where there are the most opportunities for revenue growth.