Book well worth the read

E-Business Intelligence: Turning Information into Knowledge into Profit, a book written by Bernard Liautaud, is an insightful lesson in how to turn your e-commerce business data into profit.

The book takes you through a variety of business examples gathered from such companies as Telecom Italia, Ingram Micro and MasterCard. The examples cover a wide range of topics, which may sound unfamiliar at first, but a quick reference to the six-page glossary will quickly put you on track.

Most chapters start with a quote, and my favourite is courtesy of Koen Vermeulen, an IT business analyst. “Technology is not the biggest challenge anymore. The challenge is to use the information in an intelligent way.”

The book gives you detailed information on a wide range of subjects and explains such topics as information governance, the ABCs of customer relationship management, the value of information, and data silos – just to list just a few. There is also a 23-question “Test your e-business intelligence quotient” quiz. Besides testing you, it also helps you understand where the author is going with each subject.

The examples explored in the 14 sections of this book are great as they give in-depth coverage of the research that was done for the collected data and how this data is mined to extract just what is needed for the final business decision. My favourite example was the shop owner who unsuccessfully used the store’s surveillance camera to try to figure out the five Ws (who, what, when, where and why) of a customer. Luckily today, e-businesses have an easier job if it. With the information that can be collected from a Web site, today’s e-business owner can easily gather a 360-degree view of the customer.

In today’s fast moving data world where the amount of information you have at your fingertips doubles every three years or so, it is necessary to keep yourself informed. On the other hand, if you are misinformed, you were probably talking at the wrong water cooler.

The book is well worth US$27.95, as most, if not all, of the information needed to get your e-business off the ground can be found inside. In all, E-business Intelligence: Turning Information into Knowledge into Profit is a positive book for there is no Chapter 11. After all, no business would want a Chapter 11.

Reviewed by Gerard B. duCoudray, who spent 12 years with Olivetti S.p.A., and is a Kelowna, B.C.-based IT consultant who specializes in computer maintenance and teaching software packages to end users.