APIs are essential tools for data analytics professionals who want to access, manipulate and visualize data from various sources. APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, are sets of rules and protocols that define how different software applications can communicate and exchange data. APIs can be used to retrieve data from web services, databases, cloud platforms, social media platforms, and more.

 

One of the benefits of using APIs for data analytics is that they allow you to access data in real time, without having to download or store it locally. This can save you time and storage space, as well as ensure that you are working with up to date and accurate data.

 

Some examples of popular APIs for data analytics are:

 

– Twitter API: This API allows you to access and analyze data from Twitter, such as tweets, users, followers, trends, etc. You can use this API to perform sentiment analysis, topic modelling, social network analysis, and more.

– Facebook Graph API: This API allows you to access and analyse data from Facebook, such as posts, comments, likes, shares, events, etc. You can use this API to perform social media marketing, customer segmentation, content optimization, and more.

-Movie DB API: This API allows you access to a vast repository of data related to movies and television shows and retrieve and analyze information about movies, TV shows, such as titles, release dates, genres, runtime, and production companies, etc. You can use this API to perform manage media streaming platforms, build recommendation engines, and more.

 

With that being said, how to start play around with APIs?

 

Each API have a support documentation. Taking Movie DB API Getting Started (themoviedb.org) as example. From guides, you can expect some essential elements after register the API key, like

  •  Method:

There are three common methods can be used in API to manipulate resources:

GET is used to retrieve information from the movie DB, such as a list of released movies, TV show, or a list.

POST is used to creating or updating lists, adding or removing movies from lists, marking movies as favorites or rated, and creating or deleting sessions.

DELETE is used to request the deletion of a resource from the server. For example, you can use DELETE to remove a movie from your watchlist.

  • Authentication:

API authentication is a process that verifies the identity of a user before allowing them to access an API. Some common API authentications are: Basic Authentication, Digest Authentication and Hawk Authentication. It helps prevent unauthorized or malicious access to sensitive data. In The Movie DB, the bearer authentication has been taken into place, this token is obtained during an authentication process and serves as proof of the caller’s identity.

  • Rate limits and Pagination:

In some API there are rule that limited how often developers can request information. In Movie DB you can’t ask for information more than 50 times in one second. Pagination is a technique for breaking up large datasets into smaller, more manageable chunks. Instead of returning the entire dataset in one response, an API can return a subset of the data along with metadata that describes the overall dataset. This allows the client application to request additional subsets of data as needed.

 

By testing The Movie DB, you can browse the output of your API. The information below provides detailed insights into the expected results for movies released in 2023. This includes details such as genre, original language, popularity, and release date.

This blog is only the scratch surface about APIs, as a predominant topic in data analytics field, there are lot deeper knowledge waiting for you to discover😊

Stay hungry, Stay foolish.

Pujiang Zhang
Author: Pujiang Zhang

A recent graduate with a Master of Information Technology from the Queensland University of Technology with a literature background in digital media. My academic journey has fueled my passion for making informed decisions through data analysis, and I'm fascinated by the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and its societal impacts. Beyond the world of data, I find joy in activities like jogging and swimming. I also have a strong interstate in philosophy and history, dedicating my spare time to exploring the depths of these subjects.