API Analytics and Monitoring: Best Practices to Grow API Platforms

APIs are enabling entirely new business models such as API as a Product, developer platforms and ecosystems, and new partner opportunities. However if you want to out-innovate your competition and quickly grow your platform, you need the right data to make informed decisions. API Analytics are not just valuable for engineering teams, but across the organization including product owners, customer success, marketing, and sales. At the same time, there is a lot of confusion on what really is considered API Analytics and what are the best practices. This guide is designed to address this confusion.

What is API Analytics?

API Analytics and Monitoring includes both engineering focused metrics such as performance and uptime, but also tracking customer and product metrics such as engagement, retention, and developer conversion. There are a variety of methods to perform such analysis which includes basic SQL and Excel to purpose built API analytics platforms.

Defining Key API Metrics

Each team needs to track different KPIs when it comes to APIs. The API metrics important to infrastructure teams will be different than what API metrics are important to API product or API platform teams. Metrics can also be dependent on where the API is in the product lifecycle. A API recently launched will focus more on improving design and usage while sacrificing reliability and backwards compatibility. An team that maintains an API that’s been widely adopted by enterprise teams may focus more on driving additional feature adoption per account and give precedence to reliability and backwards compatibility over design.

A List of Key API Metrics Platform Teams Should Know

Using API Analytics to Empower the Platform

The Developer Funnel

While traditional customer funnels will consist of just a marketing and sales funnel component. However APIs as a product where customers and partners include developers have what is called the developer funnel or integration funnel. The developer funnel is after the marketing funnel and before the sales funnel and has three core stages:

  • Pre-integration stage
  • Sandbox stage
  • Production stage

Mastering the Developer Funnel and Creating Funnel Goals

Developers enter the pre-integration stage after marketing funnel. The time to go from pre-integration stage to sandbox stage is usually measured as Time to First Hello World (TTFHW). Whereas the time it takes to get to production level traffic can be called Time To First Working App (TTFWA) or Time To First Paid App (TTFPA).

Learn More About Moesif Understand Your Developer Adoption Funnel With Moesif 14 day free trial. No credit card required. Learn More

Cohort Retention Analysis

Retention measures the percent of users within a cohort that return and stay active with your product. What is considered active for your product depends on the type of product. For a streaming mobile app, being active on a day may mean playing a song. For a payments API, it could be processing a credit card payment on a day.

To measure retention accurately, you need to segment your users into cohorts. Usually this is done by sign up date, but for APIs it’s recommended to segment based on integration date or Time of First Hello World. This is the date when a user first integrated and made their first transaction through your API. Then, every day, week, or month later we count the number of unique users who returned and performed an action which you consider a strong indicator for being active.

Mastering Cohort Retention Analysis

API Analytics in Sales and Marketing

Data-driven organizations ensure insights can be used across the organization and not just within silos. The API usage data a product manager is looking at to plan product road map is also valuable for sales and marketing for sending hyper personalized emails and marketing playbooks.

In order to attract and retain these developers, much thought must be put into the developer onboarding. It should be as seamless as possible for the junior developer yet surface advanced functionality at key moments for the valuable evangelists.

How to Build a Personalized Developer Experience to Onboard Developers Faster

How to Track API Usage Data in Sales and Marketing Tools

How to Track Number of API Calls Made by Each Partner or Customer’s API Key

A Slide Deck on How to build a killer API program that Developers Love

API Analytics Gotchas

The Difference Between Synthetic API Monitoring and API Real User Monitoring (API RUM)

How to Avoid Vanity API Metrics for Developer Platforms

Learn More About Moesif Build Better API Products With Moesif 14 day free trial. No credit card required. Learn More
Grow API Platforms With Self-Service Analytics From Moesif Grow API Platforms With Self-Service Analytics From Moesif

Grow API Platforms With Self-Service Analytics From Moesif

Learn More