SalesData Redux

Change in all things is sweet. —Aristotle

The new SalesData system has been up and running for a while now and so far we have been very happy with how things are going/growing.

A little over 4 years ago BookNet Canada released the ‘original’ BNC SalesData. Over the last four years the Canadian Book Industry has used SalesData extensively as a data gathering and mining tool. However, during those 4 years our users started using SalesData in ways we couldn’t have foreseen when we designed and released the original service. And to keep up with them we needed to do some serious re-working of the system’s underlying architecture. At the same time (hey…why not?) we decided to add new functionality and streamline much of the application. During the last year+ we collected lot’s of user feedback, went through a humbling usability study of the old system and spent a great deal of time re-thinking how we do things. You can see the outcome of all this work on the site, or see some of the new features here. The new system should allow us to grow more steadily with the needs of our users.

That’s not it by any stretch. We are continuing to tweak and fix things, and are already in the midst of planning our next release. Stay tuned for some really great stuff.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our users, our partners (Bibliographic DataBowker, Technology & DevelopmentAffinity Systems and ACDL Computers, Usability/DesignUsability Matters, Uproot and envy creative) and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Lastly, I would be remiss in not mentioning the hardworking staff here at BookNet. There were many long days and late nights over the last year. Everyone worked incredibly hard to get a completely new system up and running while still keeping things running on the old system…Thanks.

Some SalesData re-build numbers:


  • For the new SalesData system we re-processed approximately 300 weeks worth of data from over 1000 retail locations.
  • Each week we process approximately 10 million lines of retailer data and numerous lines of bibliographic data.
  • Time it takes to process all the data and have it available on the site each week, approximately 6 hours. SalesData used to take approximately 6 times that.
  • Currently tracking sales and inventory for 1.3 million ISBNs
  • There are over 1000 registered users using the system.


Concerns, kudos…? We love to hear from you, so please drop us a line at