Using APIs can add significant value

Vikas Doshi discusses the many advantages of using APIs for data compilation and trading across exchanges, compared to manually trading using traditional user-interfaces.

Categories: All Sports, Data, Execution & Getting On, Latency, Prices, Professional, Statistical models, Tools

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One of the key factors that contribute towards the growth of the world’s sports trading through exchanges is the API functionality to allow traders to back and lay automatically, rather than manually. It has helped to attract an entirely new breed of player over the past ten years, especially those with a solid technical understanding.

APIs have allowed many of the exchange’s customers to innovate and be creative; some have developed their own customized application over the APIs and others have begun using API products created by other professional developers like Bet Angel, Gruss and so on.

The ability to execute trades automatically is one of the main differentials for groups making the maximum levels of profit from sports trading. So, how does it work? It may seem complicated to the untrained trader, however it is worth the investment of time to become familiar with it. Although an API can be a profitable tool for any serious sports trader, that doesn’t mean developing proprietary software; an off-the-shelf product may be good enough to serve the purpose.

The mainstream exchanges will generally be designed to cater for the casual bettor and ‘punter’ however the professional trader can find that navigation around the interface can be time consuming and irritating for them. For this market, API-based products can be highly beneficial.

So, if you are an independent prop trader or small syndicate; how can you begin to take advantage of such APIs. What can you obtain from the use of an API that you cannot get from a website? The key advantages are; speed, repeatability, accuracy, data management, real time data and automation.

1. Speed & repeatability – different sports traders are looking for different patterns. Using a very simple example might be to say that the ‘model’ should only shortlist those horses running today who are trained by “W P Mullins”. The API can extract this data and it is then easy to get that data on a regular basis.

2. Accuracy – Any retrieval or execution of data using software means there are no chances of human error. Of course all such software has to be thoroughly tested or else it can be a disaster, but it works!

3. Data management – Manual compilation and analysis of data can be very time consuming (and boring), and if you are dealing with ‘big data’ sets then it becomes even more complicated. If that data is retrieved by an API, then one can filter it for only what is required whilst the rest can be discarded.

4. Real time – Exchange APIs do allow you “real time” access; within a few seconds one can scan lots of Exchange Markets OR you can read market prices very quickly. For some traders this is very critical.

5. Automation – This is probably the single most beneficial advantage of using APIs if used intelligently. You can automate your sports trading strategy, take emotions out of it, and it saves time. With the right ‘model’, an API can be almost like a money-printing machine! Of course the key is to have a viable and profitable trading strategy which can be automated or partly automated.

Though accessing APIs might require a large initial investment of time and money, over the long term, mastering this technology can prove highly profitable for the talented sports trader. A wealth of statistical sports data is available on the internet to either be ‘scraped’ or purchased but the winning formula is up to the trader!

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