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NPD BookScan Launches New System

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PUBLISHED NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

by Michial Miller, Account Manager, NPD Book and Brianna O’Driscoll, Senior Account Executive, NPD Book


Brianna O’Driscoll

Michial Miller

BookScan introduces new features to elevate the book industry’s data service.

To check out BookScan discounts available to IBPA Members, click here.

In January 2017, NPD Group purchased Nielsen BookScan, and since, we’ve been going through the process of rebranding ourselves and growing into a new culture and business. During this process, the BookScan team had the privilege of working with a company that is invested in bettering the BookScan experience and giving our team the means to update our platform and build on the foundations that we’ve established as the premier data aggregation service for the entire book industry, as well as the independent book industry.

Throughout the past year and a half, NPD BookScan has proselytized an upgrade to our products and our systems, and in September, we launched our new BookScan product in DecisionKey, a system used by NPD and its clients to track their respective industries and provide them with much needed data insights to make informed decisions for their businesses. NPD BookScan in DecisionKey brings an increase in functionality that our users have yet to experience. Much of the processes and reporting has remained in the system, such as Title Searches, Bestseller Reports, DMA (Data Market Area) Reports, etc. However, with the flexibility of the new system, we have added even more reporting tools and search functions that will enable our users to get more granular with the data and see more of it without too much maneuvering.

Dashboards is an added feature of the site, and brings much of the basic BookScan uses into one simple tool. Title, Author, and ISBN searches are found in Dashboards, and users can access many of the sales reports they used to see in the old tool, like Weekly Sales Reports, Bestseller Reports, and more. This tool within the new system also showcases more metadata than the previous BookScan site, which allows for even more granular search functionalities in the future. Users that search for a title need only to highlight the title in the report, and subsequent reports specific to the title selected will show up below, including a large Title Image with the attributed metadata included.

The second main feature of the site is Report Builder, a high-functioning tool built to replace the market-level reports on the old site. In addition to already familiar top-line data such as total sales by category, subscribers to Report Builder will now receive access to Query reporting—previously a premium level add-on. Query is a dynamic search tool that allows the user to pull reports of up to 10,000 ISBNs, based on criteria such as BISAC, Category, Publisher, or format, for any week or range of weeks from 2004-present. The output of these reports is essentially a bestseller list, in that results are ranked by sales high-low for the selected period—but with a depth of up to 10,000 lines, the possibilities for analysis are exponentially greater than your average bestseller list.

We are very excited about this new era in BookScan and have been waiting a long time for this update to take place. Looking forward, we will be going through a similar migration for our PubTrack Digital product, which will be housed alongside BookScan in the DecisionKey system and will likely see an increase in functionalities as well. One of these functionalities will be the introduction of digital audio data into the tool, which is a game-changer for publishers that are in need of insights into this rapidly expanding market.

We’d like to take some time here to thank all of our publisher and retail partners for being so patient and enthusiastic about this migration. Everything we do is meticulously positioned to benefit our users and bring value to our subscribers. Without communication and feedback on the product and how it’s used out in the field, we would not be able to fine-tune our systems and products to the benefit of each and every one of our customers. Our goal is and has always been to be the best data provider in the publishing industry, and this is a goal we would never be able to accomplish if it wasn’t for the publishers and retailers that create and distribute the content that makes our work possible.


Michial Miller is an account manager at NPD Book. His experience includes editorial work for Upper Room Books in Nashville and managing accounts for Ingram Content Group prior to his current position.


Brianna O’Driscoll is a senior account executive at NPD Book, where she has over 10 years of experience with the BookScan service.


To learn more about BookScan Data, check out this IBPA Independent article, “5 Simple Ways to Put BookScan Data to Work for You.”

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