Publishing in the Big Data Era

‘Big data’, one of the themes at last week’s “Making Information Pay” conference, has been making the rounds for a while, but it is still pretty new for most publishers. To help break the ice, the Book Industry Study Group arranged for presentations from Information Builders, Readerlink and Bookseer.

While I found all three sessions to be valuable, Peter Collingridge’s description of Bookseer, a marketing metrics tool, probably resonated most with the publishers in the audience. As impressive as it is to hear how Readerlink processes seven million lines of data every day, it’s harder to apply their experiences to the publishing business we’re in right now.

Still, now is a good time to be trying some new things. Collingridge closed his remarks withan excerpt from one of my recent posts:

“Ultimately, making changes without collecting data is the publishing equivalent of using sonar without listening for the response. If we want to take pricing seriously, we should acquire the tools and skill sets required to make analysis practical and informative.”

That post was inspired by an interview by Josh Stern at DigiDay, who interviewed the CEO of about “Publishing in the Big Data Era“. If you’re trying to figure out what to do about ‘big data’,  Stern’s interview is worth a look, or even a second look.

Updated on May 8 to add: Peter Collingridge has joined Safari Books Online, a joint venture between O’Reilly Media and Pearson, as their new VP of Product Development. A tweeted remark by Andrew Savikas indicates that Collingridge may continue to work on Exact Editions properties, such as Bookseer.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.