Harnessing APIs to unlock and operationalise your data
Data is the fuel that powers modern businesses. It’s widely accepted that unlocking insight from data is key to driving successful digital transformation and competitive advantage. Yet the gap between understanding the importance of data-driven insight and being able to achieve it remains stubbornly wide, as critical information remains locked away in silos. To overcome these challenges, businesses must try a new approach. API-led connectivity offers a reusable, standardised way to integrate data across multiple platforms, systems, and applications. When done right, it can be the fast-track to IT and business teams productivity, innovation, and growth.
A data explosion
The past decade has seen a data explosion. Analyst firm IDC predicted that over 59 zettabytes (ZBs) of data would be “created, captured, copied, and consumed” in the world last year alone. In the next three years it’s predicted to continue growing at a CAGR of 26%, during which time more data will have been created than during the past 30 years. At the top of any CIO or business leader’s wish-list is the ability to extract insight from these vast troves of information in order to make more effective decisions. According to McKinsey, data-driven companies are 1.5 times more likely to report revenue growth of greater than 10%.
Unfortunately, just like much of the population for much of the last 12 months, data is locked down and isolated. MuleSoft’s 2021 Connectivity Benchmark report reveals that data silos and existing IT infrastructure are making it difficult for most firms to integrate new technologies and make changes to IT systems and applications. In fact, currently less than third of enterprise applications on average are integrated, so there is still significant room for improvement. Those organisations that are able to connect the dots between their data stand to realise increased customer engagement, business transformation and innovation benefits.
Journey towards API-led integration
Legacy custom code point-to-point integration may have been fine a decade ago when enterprises ran relatively few applications. But today’s businesses need something altogether more agile. Point-to-point can be expensive and complex, which means IT ends up spending too much of its time on maintenance and not enough on innovation.
This is where APIs come in, offering a more seamless and cost-effective way to drive integration through discoverability, self-service, and reuse. Rather than building the same point-to-point integration for use in 10 different projects, which requires each to be maintained individually as unique sets of code, a single API can be developed to be reused across them all. An API-led approach therefore means companies only have to unlock each data set just once to empower business teams across the organisation to use that data in their own projects.
The value of this approach can be extended even further with today’s low-code tools, which support drag-and-drop integrations. This can help to ease the burden on IT teams and empower business users to deliver their own integration projects.
The LendingTree experience
One company that has driven major improvements through reusable APIs is online loans marketplace LendingTree. Originally its 16 different business units were operating with siloed, incomplete data, meaning 360-degree customer insight was impossible—affecting sales and the end-user experience. The firm was not able to capture or analyse call centre data, limiting its ability to improve experiences for its customers.
Using APIs to draw in data from multiple systems and databases in real-time, LendingTree was able to consolidate its customer data on Salesforce to create a single source of truth for cross-departmental teams. This approach empowers service agents by giving them access to individuals’ loan application history from a single console, drastically reducing the time it takes them to consolidate various sources of customer data. As such, its API-led integration approach has allowed LendingTree to free up time and resources to launch new capabilities faster.
The future’s digital
Organisations have been affected in many different ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. But across the board, the desire among business leaders over the coming months will be to emerge from the crisis stronger than ever. Data-driven insight will be vital to this achievement, as businesses push ahead with digital innovation. API-led integration can help them to ensure that data strategies are long-lasting and sustainable, paving the way for long-term success and a brighter digital future.
ShareChat parent raises US$145m at $2.88bn valuation
Mohalla Tech, the parent company behind social media apps Moj and ShareChat, has raised an additional US$145 million at a market valuation of $2.88 billion.
The latest Series F funding, led by Singapore state investor Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures (MSV), and Mirae-Naver Asia Growth Fund, is an additional investment beyond the $502 million raised in April this year.
"We are immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve with Moj and ShareChat in the last 12 months. We have been very fortunate to attract a bunch of very high-quality names in our series F and the list just got longer with Temasek, MSV and Mirae-Naver joining hands with us," said Ankush Sachdeva, CEO & Co-founder, Moj and ShareChat.
According to the company, investments raised this year, including the latest, will be used to double down on its plans of building an AI feed, incentivising its creator base and amplifying platform health and safety. In the past few months, the company has hired global senior executives with specialisation in AI and ML and continues to look for more such senior hires.
The continuing growth of social media
Founded in October 2015, the social media company has raised close to $911 million over seven funding rounds so far. This has helped both Moj and ShareChat to continue their growth journey, differentiate and deliver a unique social media experience. Moj has become India’s number one short video app with the highest monthly active users, with an average user time spent of 34 minutes every day, scoring over 4.5 billion views daily.
ShareChat, the Indic language social media platform, is positioned uniquely with an average user time spent of 31 minutes daily. Moj and ShareChat together, with a 340 million-strong user community, envision building a cohesive AI-powered content ecosystem to address India’s growing digital needs.
James McIntyre, Senior Managing Director and COO at MSV said, “We are excited to partner with Moj as they build India’s premier short form video platform, and have been impressed by this management team’s speed and agility in capturing the opportunity. This round will help to accelerate that growth and allow Moj and ShareChat to continue to develop the best ecosystem for content creators and consumers alike.”