On 5 July, INSEE launched an API (Application Programming Interface) to facilitate free access to the reference data in the Sirene database by different audiences. Its availability makes it possible to cope with the change in scale of open data. It is part of a national approach to administrative simplification, better known under the name "Tell us once". API Sirene is thus integrated into "API-Entreprises", a government site intended for companies, where, under certain access rights, all the data on a company can be accessed by API by entering the Siren of the legal unit or the Siret of the establishment once.
D’In addition, with this technology, INSEE now offers all the Sirene data updated daily: closed establishments and companies that have been closed are now included; in addition, certain historical variables are now available, giving access to information recorded in the Sirene inter-administrative register since its creation in 1973, i.e. for more than 19 million companies and 27 million establishments.
Finally, for user information systems, the dissemination of information is more efficient and non-redundant. Thanks to the Sirene API, INSEE completes its Sirene open data offer by further developing access to information and opportunities for reuse. API users will be able to develop innovative services for the benefit of end users.
INSEE consolidates its role as an open data player
Open data has already transformed the distribution of company data in the Sirene identification register. Since January 2017, INSEE has made the Sirene data distribution database available to everyone, free of charge, on sirene.fr and data.gouv.fr, which brings together economic information on 10 million companies and 11 million active establishments. With the opening of the data, the number of direct users has been multiplied by 3, the number of file downloads has been multiplied by 6. A community of "open data" users has been formed around the discussion forum on data.gouv.fr.
The provision of the Sirene API with access to complete data will make it possible to cope with this change of scale. This technology uses web communication languages to remotely query an INSEE server in order to obtain all or part of the directory in return, through unitary, multi-criteria or phonetic consultations. Such a solution is more efficient since the user only retrieves the information he needs when he needs it. This new offer will increase the uses of the data and contribute to their improvement.
An opportunity for users to create innovative services
Users are no longer required to manage their database and integrate updates. They will retrieve the data they are interested in on the fly and integrate it into their own information. They will be able to cross-reference the database with other sources to offer innovative services, particularly in the fields of marketing (prospecting, market research, personalised management of customer files, etc.) or even data journalism with the use of facets or quick counts. API can be used for flood risk management or agricultural disasters (budgetary impact, orientation of priority public aid, etc.). It also offers assistance for the development of local economic development strategies with mapping applications for the location of establishments, for example for the establishment of cafés, restaurants, petrol stations, hairdressing salons, sports facilities or job search assistance.
An enriched Sirene offer
The Sirene database is the supplier of identity data for companies and establishments. The information is accessible at the level of legal units and establishments. At these levels, in addition to current data, the API Sirene gives access to certain historical variables (name for legal entities, name for natural persons, legal category, main activity, employer, etc.), information recorded in the Sirene inter-administrative register since its creation in 1973, i.e. for more than 19 million companies and 27 million establishments.
It is a core public dataset, on which other public or private datasets are based. It is therefore part of the reference data of the public data service, committing the State to maintain a high level of quality in making data available (availability, associated information, communication with users).
Nine datasets have been awarded the label "reference data" by the public data service. For INSEE, the Sirene database and the Official Geographic Code are concerned.
Namely: the Sirene data available by API, are accessible via the INSEE API catalogue: https://api.insee.frafter creating an account there. There is also documentation on all the variables provided.