Don’t Shove Your API Data Into Amplitude
Web analytics are different than API analytics. The right platform will aid growth with meaningful metrics. Learn what solution is best for your API product.
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It’s a prudent business practice to only focus on your core features when getting to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Microservices architectures allow you to outsource non-differentiated pieces of your solution to third-party providers; Use someone else for user management, billing, and account management.
At first blush, it might seem attractive to develop your own API analytics solution, perhaps by building on top of a web analytics tool like Amplitude, MixPanel, or Segment. But once you peel back the onion you’ll soon realize that you’ll be unnecessarily crippling your solution through upload limits, de minimis dimensional support, and flawed visualization.
Web Analytics Is Very Different From API Analytics
Amplitude is great for tracking user journeys and analyzing real-time user interactions with a simple
logEvent API call. When an Amplitude developer on boards the platform, some developers will try to use Amplitude as an all-encompassing, holistic platform for their analytics needs. However, during the implementation phase, developers will discover that the Amplitude platform has severe limitations when it comes to uploading limits (batches/sec), limits for fields, dimensions, and scale. As a result of these limitations, developers will struggle to build their entire analytics solution on Amplitude and will need to purchase other solutions to fit their analytics needs.
Most importantly, Product Managers (PMs) and Product Marketing Managers (PMMs) need to report on KPIs but don’t necessarily have the development knowledge or technical resources to implement complex, self-reporting dashboards themselves. As a result, Amplitude can sometimes go unused in large organizations since KPI dashboards need to be customized on a business unit basis. In this article, we’re going to cover why you shouldn’t shove your API data into Amplitude, rather consider a solution that’s custom built for APIs’ unique requirements.
Track Your API Data Easily With the Right Platform
Amplitude’s customers join the platform envisioning that they’re going to have a seamless experience creating charts to track important KPIs and metrics data. However, once Amplitude is implemented, PMs and their development teams quickly discover that setting up charts to track those metrics is a tedious and manual job.
Using an API-specific platform enables your teams to track API metrics that are important to both your infrastructure and platform/marketing teams. Whether you’re in DevOps, Product Management, Application Engineering, or Growth, a platform designed for APIs is the best solution to track the metrics data that you care about. In Amplitude, your API data isn’t initially configured for you, and your options for tracking individual user data or overarching company metrics are extremely limited.
Here is a short list of metrics data that’s trackable out of the box with API analytics platforms, and that would have to be custom created in Amplitude:
- API Usage Growth
- Unique API Consumers (API DAU and MAU)
- Top Customers by API Usage
- API retention
- Time to First Hello World (TTFHW)
- Uptime, CPU, and Memory Usage
- Request Per Minute (RPM), Average and Max Latency, Errors Per Minute
A full rundown of top API metrics that your team should be tracking is detailed in a companion blog post.
As you can see, managing your API Analytics with a platform created for API products enables your enterprise to innovate quickly, and enables your developers to build fully scalable and compliant analytics dashboards with ease. The right analytics give organizations the power to create robust dashboards that track common KPIs and metrics data customizable to your business’s needs.
Published at DZone with permission of Lawrence Ebringer. See the original article here.
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