The Nielsen Company

  www.nielsen.com
  www.nielsen.com
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4 people found this helpful  

Interesting business, mediocre culture

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Oldsmar, FL
Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Oldsmar, FL

I have been working at The Nielsen Company full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

Nielsen has a very appealing business: measuring retail and media consumption for the world. Plenty of big data challenges, most of them unique enough to require custom development at just about every level. As technology and consumption habits continue to evolve, there is constant pressure to continuously improve our scope and capabilities. Current leadership under Dave Calhoun has placed Nielsen in a much more sustainable financial position than it has been in for decades.
The work/live balance has really shifted for the better, most managers allowing working remotely.

Cons

Unfortunately, some of the decisions on technology partners has lead to an unending stream of inexperienced technologists. This leads to poor workmanship and thus, poor build quality. To combat this, Nielsen management has instituted a monstrous bureaucracy that tends to stifle innovation. Also worth mentioning, our infrastructure team is completely outsourced. Since doing so, that team has suffered greatly, and has bogged innovation down quite a bit. Nothing gets done unless it's an emergency and is pushed to the top of the stack by upper management, which is no doubt stressful on the infrastructure teams as well.
Additionally, since the bulk of the employees now seem to be made up of consultants, there is a distinct lack of company culture. The concept of company loyalty is all but evaporated after a series of "work force optimizations" (read: layoffs).
Finally, performance reviews are (as with most companies it seems), mostly a joke. You write your own goals, you criticize yourself, and then your manager meets with you one time for the year and agrees or disagrees. There needs to be a higher focus on monthly or at least quarterly reviews to communicate better about your performance. There is no division of technical and people manager roles, which usually leads to middle management being too overwhelmed with technology meetings and workload to really engage their employees.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Upper management should continue to in the direction it is headed, de-leveraging where it can. However, middle management needs to continue this new focus on hiring top talent to tackle these enormous issues we face. Consider using consulting partners for areas where innovation is less critical. Keep innovation and technology leadership in-house. Really take a close look at our infrastructure partners, and consider if they are capable enough to carry us into future. Without powerful, agile infrastructure, Nielsen will struggle to provide the type of innovation our data-heavy clients demand.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

1261 Other Employee Reviews for The Nielsen Company (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Nielsen is a great place to work, but it depends entirely on your role

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Client Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Client Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at The Nielsen Company full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    SO MUCH OPPORTUNITY across the "watch and buy" (media and consumer) sides of the business. HR actually encourages rotation through the company, so I always felt that I had the option of asking to do something completely different and no one would hold that against me. I was lucky to have extremely talented team leaders to work under, which can make or break your experience with Nielsen. Policy of "meritocracy" rewards high performers, which provides a lot of incentive to do you best every day and is a practice I strongly believe in.

    Cons

    Too much focus on cost savings - case in point: the TCS relationship. Outsourcing basic client service duties to a country that does not have the same market environment as the US is a much bigger issue than senior management would like to believe. Benefits package (mostly medical) are great, but compensation is the number one reason why people leave Nielsen to go outside - and it's part of the reason I left myself. Work/life balance depends on your role as well - I was on a very demanding client and didn't have a great balance, but I know many other people who would tout work/life as Nielsen's #1 pro.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Salaries are below the industry average - make sure this is fixed in the near future or all of your employees are going to be working for your competition. Take an honest look at the TCS partnership and ask yourself if this is really what you envisioned years ago. Keep the values alive in practice, as they were when I left: Simple, Open, Integrated.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Work was engaging and the people were friendly.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at The Nielsen Company as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    - NYC
    - Friendly, open culture
    - Extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, etc)
    - Fast-moving media industry
    - Cafe
    - HQ is in the East Village
    - Wide variety of career routes

    Cons

    - Commute is long from outside the City
    - Off-site workers means there is some miscommunication or duplication of work
    - Clients can be difficult

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take time out of your day to talk to the lower-level associates to help boost morale and to make them feel more like a part of the team. Sometimes an employees worth is hard to find at those low levels.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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