Nielsen, University of Chicago Booth School of Business team up on consumer research initiative

CHICAGO — Nielsen and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business said they plan to offer comprehensive historical perspective on consumer purchases to all U.S.-based academic researchers for the first time.

Nielsen said that the marketing information will allow academics to investigate topics that previously could not be studied and noted that, as part of the arrangement, all tenure-track faculty members and Ph.D. students from accredited U.S. colleges and universities can apply for access to the Nielsen Consumer Panel information the research firm is making available.

"Many of today's best practices in marketing began as academic research," Nielsen SVP measurement science Frank Piotrowski said. "We believe this alliance will yield research that improves marketers' abilities to drive growth and profitability in the consumer packaged goods industry."

The Nielsen information is based on product purchases made by a panel of consumer households across all retail outlets in all U.S. markets. The data set includes purchases from all Nielsen-tracked categories, including food, nonfood grocery items, health and beauty aids and selected general merchandise. The panel information represents 40,000 to 60,000 U.S. households who continually provide information about the makeup of their households, the products they buy, as well as when and where they make purchases.

"This will start a revolution in terms of the research we do as marketers and the insight we gain into consumer behavior," said Sanjay Dhar, the James H. Lorie professor of marketing at Chicago Booth and director of the school’s Kilts Center for Marketing, which will oversee release of the information. "Thanks to exposure to the power of analytics early in their education and careers, our Nielsen/Chicago Booth collaboration will yield a new generation of marketers passionate about insight and analytics."

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