Many people in book publishing knew the name of the person who had upended the book publishing industry with his market analytics reports (including the companies which had hired him as a consultant), and thousands of people who listened to him speak at conferences knew him on sight.
But in spite of the fact that many people knew his name, and in spite of the fact that he had built the Author Earnings Report into a market analytics startup called Bookstat.com, no one has ever publicly connected the Data Guy pseudonym with the person behind it.
According to his LinkedIn profile, the CEO of Bookstat, the company founded by Data Guy, is a former gaming exec by the name of Paul Abbassi.
Edit: Just so you know, I didn’t actually know Paul’s name until this morning. I was not in on the secret, so I had nothing to betray.
Formerly the CTO at Digital Chocolate and the VP of Data Analytics at MaxPlay, Abbassi has two Master’s Degrees in electrical engineering, as well as a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Berkeley.
He has a decade of experience in running gaming companies, and then in 2012 he turned his attention toward book publishing. According to his profile his various projects include Booklead.com, a now defunct deals site, an unnamed company that aggregated book reviews, and then there’s this entry:
Pseudonymous cofounder and chief data scientist for the trade publishing industry’s preeminent independent data-reporting and author advocacy watchdog group. Coauthor of popular industry reports that track shifts in publishing market share by using a scalable cloud of custom-coded web spiders to scrape the public sales rankings of millions of individual titles at the largest online bookstores in real time.
While I do not have explicit confirmation that Paul Abbassi is Data Guy, that description is specific enough for me to safely say that I found the right guy. Furthermore, Abbassi ‘s profile photo bears a striking resemblance to the person I met as Data Guy at DBW 2015 (shown above).
I have queried several sources, including Data Guy, for confirmation, and no one responded at the time I published this post. If you can confirm his identity, please leave a comment below.