New Application Programming Interface from Panjiva provides a deep dive into global trade data
July 28, 2014
Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, recently said it is opening up the “vault,” so to speak. The vault in this case is making its copious amount of trade data accessible through an Application Programming Interface (API), which enables customers to extract Panjiva’s trade data into their own database.
By accessing the company’s global trade data in this manner, Panjiva said that it also enables its customers to build its own proprietary tools and models. Ways in which Panjiva data can be used through the use of an API include: customized company-matching by meshing Panjiva data to existing data sets; supplementing existing sourcing data bases; creating new, custom databases; and building complex models of trade lanes and commodities.
“For several years, Panjiva has been building tools that make it easier to work with global trade data and they have been well-received,” said Panjiva CEO Josh Green in an interview. “Over the last year or two, we have had an increasing number of customers that have said they like the data but what they really want to do is incorporate into tools that they are building. We looked at this and said it makes perfect sense that customers would want to have our data inside their systems and make it easy for them. The easiest way to make data for incorporating it into other people’s tools is through an API.”
The Panjiva API is Web-based and, as an example, a company with a CRM system would send a request over the Web through the Panjiva API, with the API sending data back to the customer company’s CRM system.
Green said Panjiva has thousands of customers accessing Panjiva’s data through a Panjiva interface, but he explained that they are also seeing customers expressing an interest in putting this data into their own tools. This includes investors that want to enter data into models used for investment decisions and Fortune 500 companies that want to feed the data into risk analysis tools they are developing, and start-ups that want another data source on top of which they can build businesses.
“Part of what we were acknowledging as we built this is that there is a whole lot more we can do with the data than we ever thought of and the goal is to make it as easy as possible and to provide greater transparency into global trade,” said Green.
For logistics professionals, Green said that the API offers up some of its best resources.
“What we have heard over the years when talking to logistics professionals is that the primary use of global trade data is identifying potential customers and getting smarter about them before meeting with them,” he explained. “Trade data is fantastic at spotting potential customers of logistics services and knowing more about them, in terms of what they are shipping, where they are shipping from before meeting with them. What we heard from our most sophisticated customers was that they already had CRM systems, where they tracked their sales efforts and instead of using those CRM systems and the Panjiva interface, they wanted to plug the Panjiva data directly into their CRM interface, and the API makes that possible.”
Green said that customers using API will be comprised of a slice of current customers that have the most developed in-house systems that are already being used to centralize all their data and are the top tier of Panjiva customers. He said there will also be new customers that had not previously worked with global trade data because it was too hard to work with but now have an easy way to pull this type of data for what they are already doing.
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