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The Foundation of Innovation: Big Data and APIs

October 15, 2015

Across countless markets, a premium has been placed on consumer engagement. Speaking to potential consumers in ways they understand and providing solutions designed around the pain points they experience are becoming more essential to success. While it may seem like a herculean task to paint such a vivid portrait of the consumer, big data has virtually done the hard work for you.

From civic and government data to the clouds of personal information we carry with us each day via social media, big data casts a very broad, yet detailed, portrait of our daily lives. For a marketer or business leader, this information is the foundation that drives innovation. Consumer data informs the development of meaningful products that answer real-world problems.

But how do these independent data sources work together?
While data represents the information necessary to understand a consumer base, application programming interfaces (APIs) tie all of these independent data sources together. APIs allow programmers to harness several data sources for the development of software or applications.

As blocks of data are connected with cross-platform APIs, businesses are able to form more tangible virtual pictures of consumers and engage them based on the information that is most relevant to them. For example, the popular gaming app “FarmVille” leverages Facebook’s free API to market to potential gamers. While Facebook charges a service fee when users purchase FarmVille Coins, it still presents an enormous opportunity for the game’s marketing strategy, and it’s all due to data.

In terms of innovation, the spread of big data and cross platform APIs has opened the door for a new era of entrepreneurs. The possibilities are virtually endless in terms of what types of data can be actionable and the solutions that can be derived. What makes this new era of creative momentum so exciting is that it’s fueled by consumer data and resources that are available for free. As big data and the exchange of information continues to increase, so will the benefits for consumers worldwide.