What are APIs?

A general overview of APIs

To view a more in-depth overview of APIs, check out our blog post here.

What are APIs?

Imagine you have a database with valuable information that you personally aggregated. It could be a file with daily weather patterns in your neighborhood or your personal calorie tracker.

After updating and growing this file, you want to share it with others. To do that, you can post your file online for others to download, or you can create an API that lets developers programmatically access parts of your data on demand.

One popular analogy is to compare APIs to restaurants. The kitchen is the database/dataset that you want to access, and APIs are like waiters bringing data from the kitchen to your table.

Why are APIs important?

APIs are extremely powerful since they allow the quick and structured exchange of information.

They can be used for web development, allow communication between platforms, and are now playing a large role in data aggregation.

There are thousands of data APIs out there that provide data on social media, flights, finance, crypto, sports, and even Anime! They serve users customized data on virtually any topic saving days and even months for developers & data scientists.

There's a catch!

If you want to use an API, you need to be a proficient programmer. Usually, this is how the process looks like:

  1. Find the API that works for you

  2. Read the API's documentation (which, at times, can be painful)

  3. Sign up, get an API key, and pay for an API key

  4. Write the code to connect to the API

  5. Get the data, clean it up so it fits your desired schema

  6. Get started with your analysis

We thought there should be an easier way to do this, so we built the Databar.ai query builder. With the query builder, 8 steps turn into a delightful 2! Read about how here.

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