Amazon got recommendations for me

A few weeks ago I happened to hear a cool recording of Baby please don’t go  by Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbao_laqF8E

Inspired by the music I spent some  hours listening to these guys and others favourites like Lightnin’ Hopkins and Champion Jack Dupree mostly via YouTube.

Then this week I got recommendations from Amazon:

Wow, CJD isn’t the most popular artist these days, Amazon must have found my interest in CJD via me looking for him on Youtube . (I’m pretty sure I have not searched for CJD on Amazon. I also wrote a mail where I mention CJD, but Amazon hopefully do not scan my mails that would be a step too far :-)

Anyway this recommendation probably comes from  some Business Intelligence activity.Of course I was curious how Amazon found out of my interest in CJD, so I sent a query to Amazon:

08/01/12 22:19:46

Your Name: Lars Johansson

Comments: I'm curious about your recommendation to buy CD's by Champion Jack Dupree.<p></p>I would appreciate an explanation of the process resulting in you recommending me to buy Champion Jack Dupree CDs.

And I got this response:


I'm sorry to hear you're unhappy with some of the products that were recommended for you on Amazon. To prevent certain purchases from affecting your recommendations, please follow the instructions here:


To prevent certain items you've viewed recently from affecting your recommendations, please follow the instructions here:


If you don't want to see our recommendations, you can log out of your Amazon.com account by moving your cursor to the "Your Account" menu at the top of the home page and selecting "Sign Out" from the expanded list of options. On the next page, leave the e-mail and password spaces blank and click the Amazon.com logo. Your recommendations won't appear on the website until the next time you sign into your Amazon.com account.

I hope this helps! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you for your inquiry. Did I solve your problem?

If yes, please click here:


If no, please click here:



But I was not unhappy  about the recommendation, I was curious how they found my interest for CJD, so I once again asked Amazon how they did. I’m still waiting for Amazon’s reply.

Working with Business Intelligence I have analyzed our customers behavior to come up with Sales Leads. I’m not using some sophisticated web scanner, I only try to analyze existing customers purchases e.g. have the customer bought spare parts but no service? When did they buy our products? Have they bought the new model? etc. But we have plans to be more active and come up with better Sales Leads and targeted advertisements using our Sales and Marketing statistics.

Many years ago I worked as a DBA, administering the Sales database of a TV-shop. I got complaints from the TV-shop, that the database was down early Sunday mornings. I took down the database for housekeeping like reorg etc. Sunday morning 04.00, and the database was down for an hour. To my surprise I was told there are many (lonely?) drunkards buying like crazy the night between Saturday and Sunday, this was a respectable TV-shop selling normal TV-shop merchandise . So I had to reschedule the jobs to the night after between Sunday to Monday, which was a low activity night.


If Amazon’s recommendation had come the night while I was listening to CJD I would probably had bought some music. Business Intelligence is very much a question of speed. The analysts need the reports now, not tomorrow.

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