Most businesses rely on data to adjust and optimize their strategy; but having said that, nearly 1 in 2 companies say that they struggle to access and break down silos between disparate data types.
Since we talk with hundreds of MarCom professionals each and every day, we realize that the majority of businesses have a difficult time grasping the bigger picture because they do not have all the data they need to make informed decisions. Oftentimes, these businesses rely solely on internal metrics, such as sales figures, financials, and internal reports to check their positioning. While internal data is necessary, it is historical data. This means that it delivers insights into events that have already happened. As a result, companies end up making decisions based on a combination of lagging indicators, and intuition.
With 72% of PR pros saying that measuring business impact is currently their top challenge, silos in data is a problem.
No business is unaffected by what’s going around them, and they need to not live in their own internal bubble.
At Meltwater, we believe that having all the data you need, both internal and external, in a single location, is vital. That is why we have developed our own API (or Application Programming Interface).
What Is an API?
Worry not, I won't dive into the technical side of things here, instead, I'll explain how APIs work in general (and how Meltwater's API works as well).
What you need to know is that an API is used to transfer data from one application to another. In short, it helps tools to talk to each other without you - the end-user - having to code anything extra.
Here's an easy-to-understand example to illustrate this.
Imagine that you are sitting in a fancy restaurant, holding a menu. In that situation, the waiter acts as the API.
The API [the waiter] takes information [your order] from you [App #1], brings it to the kitchen [App #2], and comes back with your meal. A seamless experience.
How does that apply to Meltwater?
Meltwater’s API allows our customers to input media data into third-party applications like Tableau or Microsoft PowerBI, thus enabling them to see the correlation between media data and other data sets, like sales volume, in real-time.
This is the best way to see correlations between indicators from different sources, such as revenue and PR clippings.
How does it work?
To do this, Meltwater leans on smart AI crawling to track millions of media data sets, in real-time. That includes online news, social media platforms, job postings, financial filings, product reviews, and much more.
Merging internal data with online news articles and social conversations helps executives to uncover unique insights (more on that in the next section).
Designed for enterprise-level analytics, our data solution integrates with all popular business intelligence tools for advanced analytics, or visually displayed in a brand command center.
API use cases are often varied as they depend on the goal you, or your developer team, aim to achieve. From a Meltwater API perspective, we'll cover a few common ways businesses are using this software.
3 of the Most Common Use Cases from Our Clients
Despite endless possibilities, we have identified 3 of the most common use cases to best leverage Meltwater's API.
1. View different sources of data in one tool
One can only see a 360-degree view of their activity by feeding both external and internal data into their business intelligence solution. This is key to make it a lot easier to connect the dots and see correlations between different sources.
For this reason, it is essential to look for an API that offers the flexibility to export and stream data in real-time. An API that you can then integrate into your business application interface, or command center. That way, you can have all the insights needed to run a successful and competitive business - from one interface.
This is something that our client Graviz Telescope uses our API for.
Graviz Telescope is an AI-platform that analyses brands’ market perceptions and makes recommendations to guide investors.
Today everyone talks about how data is the new gold. Meltwater supplies us with the data that our customers demand, and this is clearly great value for us.
Graviz Telescope leverages Meltwater’s API to layer social chatter, media coverage, website traffic, and market sales figures on top of one another to better understand various market situations.
What's more, using our API drastically helps them to better measure and make sense of their sentiment analysis, as they combine it with other data sets (ex. panel data, search engine data, etc.).
That way, our users don’t need to log into different systems to then export data manually. Manual work can lead to mistakes and seeing correlations when there’s none.
2. Personalize and automate reporting
As communications professionals, we need to understand where we stand to get to where we want to be. Previously, this meant spending hours each month working in excel sheets, trying to make sense of the data. According to a survey relayed by HubSpot, marketers spend over 3 hours and a half each week “collecting, organizing, and analyzing marketing data from different sources;" a time that Marcom professionals would gladly spend on something else than routine tasks.
Fortunately, Meltwater's open API takes the manual work out of reporting and turns media intelligence insights into powerful, easy to understand graphs to integrate into your reporting tool. Besides, results are delivered as JSON and include metadata (meaning data about data).
What’s more, at Meltwater, data is enriched through our pipeline. Additional information is added to the data including sentiment, language, reach, and key messages.
Here's a practical example of a company doing this.
A sports consulting company client uses Meltwater’s API to prove the ROI of sponsorship investments.
To do this, they:
- Track brand names in relation to specific sporting events.
- Create insightful widgets to show how sponsorships affect the brands’ exposure for key audiences.
Given the volume of mentions during major sporting events, our client needs a robust and reliable delivery pipeline, which our API provides. It also helps automate a formerly cumbersome exporting process, saving them significant time each month.
The ability to make sense of high volumes of data is also something that the folks at Google are leveraging Meltwater's API for.
We're not just interested in understanding how our own posts perform, we want to know what the larger conversation looks like. With the automation, we are able to automatically pull data into our own internal dashboards, which is incredibly valuable from a time perspective.
3. Break silos between teams
Cutting across silos is an “unnatural act,” according to Ron Ashkenas, co-author of The Harvard Business Review Leader’s Handbook and The GE Work-Out.
Yet, it is the key for any business to know success.
In fact, 70% of customer experience professionals and executives have identified silo mentality as the biggest obstacle to customer service.
This is one of the many reasons why executives are turning to APIs: to facilitate internal communication and collaboration.
Now, beyond brand management, online news, and social media data can be used to create competitive advantages through supply chain risk mitigation, optimizing processes, improving the customer experience, spotting trends, and more.
The echo we’re getting from our users is that as different departments start relying on the same datasets, they naturally come closer together.
Let’s take another client example to illustrate how you can leverage Meltwater to break down silos.
The advertising agency Ruth relies on Meltwater’s API to make sense of the data collected by their clients, thus breaking down silos. Siloed work is deadly for agencies. By combining both internal and external data, Ruth can build comprehensive reports, helping their clients’ teams to work together, from the same KPIs, towards the same goal.
Meltwater API helps our clients to combine external data with data from their own website and deliver a situation snapshot in real-time.
Once your data is integrated on your command center platform, it's easy to distribute insights across teams. Alternatively, you can share the newly found insights directly into Slack to keep entire teams in the loop around industry developments.
You may have noticed that I have mentioned command center platforms a few times now.
What is a command center exactly?
Think of command centers as centralized hubs for storing information. Businesses rely on unified reporting solutions to provide them with one source of truth – a single and unified view of all business functions. Since APIs are fed into command centers, both types of software are usually discussed hand in hand.
Now, let’s see how you can set up Meltwater’s Export API.
Setting up Meltwater’s Export API
You don't have to be born a developer to reap the benefits of our API. We have built our so that it can be used by all teams across an organization. In fact, setting up our export API can be done in 3 easy steps.
1. Set up a search (keyword search or explore search) via the Meltwater App.
2. Create a data export via the Export API interface on Meltwater.
3. Access your data export through BI connectors such as Tableau, PowerBI, or Google Data Studio.
News and Social data are provided in industry-standard JSON format, providing enriched data for use in your analytics.
And that’s pretty much it. To learn about this in more detail, check our tutorials and videos. They make it easy for non-developers users to leverage our Export API.
Connecting the Dots to Understand the Impact of Your Work
As mentioned in this blog post, our API has varied use cases. Having said that, our clients’ use cases tend to point in one direction: they all contribute in some ways to combining and sharing knowledge extracted from different data sources, thus preventing data isolation between teams.
With Meltwater's Media Monitoring API, you can control how, where, and when you receive your media analytics. Whether you want to see raw volumes or specifics, the choice is yours.
Just loop us in (our API can connect with about every business intelligence platform) and get access to the largest source base of online news and social media content in the industry, associated metadata, and historical archives.
If you want to learn more about how Meltwater API can help solve your corporate problems, get in touch through the form below.