Seccl, the Octopus-owned custodian and platform technology provider, is looking to upskill financial advice and investment professionals in the basics of coding, through the public launch of its API Academy.
The API Academy will provide participants with a working knowledge of APIs, along with the role and function that they serve, and teach the basic coding skills required to extract and input data using any open API – skills that participants will be able to readily apply to their day-to-day role, for example to build reporting dashboards, or to create or update client records.
It will be delivered digitally through a combination of webinars and virtual workshops, and is designed for anyone working in financial advice or investment management regardless of role or seniority. No prior knowledge is required – though an aptitude for Excel might prove a useful starting point.
The programme consists of four 60-minute online workshops, hosted weekly from 4th May (detailed below). Each workshop will be supported by its own 30-minute webinar, which participants will be able to watch in their own time, and a small homework project. The course will culminate in a short presentation during the final workshop.
By completing the course, participants will earn a combined 9 hours of endorsed CPD (including workshops, webinars and homework). Alternatively, the on-demand webinars are available for anyone to watch via Seccl’s website, and will deliver up to 2 hours of CPD.
Annabel Melvin, Senior Account Manager at Seccl and course leader, said: "While many of the advice professionals we speak to express a real desire to get to grips with the basics of coding, they all struggle to know where to start or who to ask. Our API Academy is designed to fill that gap.
“We strongly believe that everyone can benefit from learning the fundamentals of APIs. Anyone who can query an API can quickly and easily extract any bit of data that an API-driven system holds, in real time – and so by teaching people the basics, we hope to empower them to run slicker, more data-led and more efficient businesses.”
The public launch follows the initial pilot programme conducted in July 2020, which involved 9 external advisers, operations staff, and administrators. Since then, the content has been expanded and fully CPD-endorsed by the CISI.
In attendance at the initial industry pilot was Ian Beardow, Operations Director at independent financial advice firm Courtney Havers LLP, who commented:
"I’ve been aware of APIs for a while, but never really understood what they were, or more importantly, how useful they can be. Annabel and the Seccl team very patiently over 4 sessions taught us the principals of APIs, and how using them could help me to retrieve the data I needed, rather than the data the provider thought I needed.
“It took time to get used to using the different software systems and the programming language during the training, but if, like me, you spend a lot of time trying to access and analyse data from different sources, often with different levels of success and in various non-user-friendly formats, then I would recommend that you sign up to the Seccl API Academy.”
Annabel Melvin continued: “The Academy will deliver a free and low-intensity and way to learn the basics and should add real value to day-to-day work. We’re excited to be able to open it up to even more people across the industry, offering a CPD-accredited programme that finance professionals can use to support their learning and development.”
The free course will be structured as follows:
- Wed 4 May – Introduction: Understand how to query and interact with an open API
- Wed 11 May – Automation: Use Python to perform automated instructions
- Wed 18 May – Data: Use Python to retrieve and manipulate data from an API
- Wed 25 May – Reporting: Use Python to produce bespoke reports
To find out more and register, head to seccl.tech/api-academy