Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why it Matters by Bill Tancer is another one of those fun to read business books like Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, and Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics. It is the kind of book that shows you just how much information there is out there, if you know where to look for it and have the resources to gather it. And, as is common for these books, the author (Bill Tancer in this case), shows you what his company can do with that data.
The data in question in Click is the terms that users enter into Internet search engines. (Didn’t realize anyone was keeping track, eh?) By analyzing the trends of specific search terms, in some cases correlated with Claritas PRIZM segmentation, Tancer has been able to figure out that prom dress buying season actually starts in January for some teens, and even predict the winners of some celebrity reality TV shows, among other fascinating tidbits.
In some respects I find it hard to describe this book. It is about data: how Tancer traces and uses it to discover things about American society. What I really like about the book is that it is clear that Tancer loves data, and I can respect that. I love data myself, and I love reading books about it. Especially when they are lively and full of antidotes, just like Click is. But if you are hoping that you will discover a way for your business to do what Tancer is doing at Hitwise, Click won’t tell you that. Read it, and just celebrate the beauty of data.
I was given the change to review this book thanks to the Mini Book Expo for Bloggers.