Companies House releases API to open up its data
Government agency offers user access to a range of data streams
Companies House has released an API that it hopes will allow users to realise the value of its data – the worth of which it estimates at £3bn a year.
The software tool, which is available in beta mode via the Companies House online Developer Hub, can be used to automatically provide developers or other users with new or updated data across one or more of four data streams: company information; filing histories; charges; and insolvency information.
Companies House said that the service will be of particular benefit to users whose operations rely on company data – especially those who request and process documents in bulk. It will also be a major time-saver for those who currently manually scour the agency’s website for newly published information.
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Kean Jones, head of IT services at Companies House, said: “Research has shown that Companies House free data is valued at up to £3bn per year, and that the most recent data is the most valued. The streaming API will allow users to access new register data in near real time, leveraging the value immediately.”
The organisation believes it is the first government entity to open up its data via API in this way. Over the coming weeks and months, the organisation will be “reaching out to others across government with the aim of building and defining standards for streaming APIs going forward”, according to Jones.
The agency’s director of digital Ross Maude added: “Digital transformation at Companies House is about constantly improving our services to meet user need and maximising the value of the register. This streaming API is an excellent example of using innovation to improve our services and allow the data to be accessed and used in even more ways.”
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