The Nielsen Company
3.0 of 5 1,121 reviews
www.nielsen.com New York, NY 5000+ Employees

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48 people found this helpful  

Good place to start a career, but not for everyone

Senior Analyst (Current Employee)

ProsFor me, Nielsen has been an excellent place to start my career for several reasons 1) it is a training ground for analytic skills 2) It provides a good network of smart coworkers and 3) it looks good on a resume, especially if you want to stay in the consumer goods or marketing research industry.

Analytics Training
I started at Nielsen BASES (innovation services) and knew almost nothing about analytics or the CPG (consumer packaged goods) instrucy. Thankfully, I had done well at college and so I was hired for my potential, not my in depth knowledge of marketing research. Although the initial adjustment to the company was rough, I learned a great deal from analyzing syndicated data, to forecasting to products, to consulting with brand teams about how to improve their new product launches. If you are looking for a company that will help to teach you how to analyze and create a story from data, Nielsen is a solid place to start.

Good Environment with Coworkers
By and large, the employees that I interact with have been very friendly, bright and capable people. People at the company are largely the kind of people that I like to befriend or hang out with after work. Overall, I feel myself becoming smarter because of the people I work with.

Strong Company Name Recognition
As you might know, Nielsen is one of the largest marketing research companies in the world and has a tremendous strategic position. Nearly all scanned products in the United States are sent to just two companies, IRI and Nielsen. Anyone who has studied marketing in-depth or has dealt with consumer products (things you could buy at a Walmart) knows Nielsen. As someone who was unemployed several months after college, I continue to be amazed at how quickly and easily coworkers can find jobs once they have Nielsen on the resume.

ConsAlthough Nielsen is an good place to launch an analytics or marketing research career, the company provides few incentives to stay with the company. As such, the vast majority of talented employees leave the company after 3 or 4 years, especially in departments such as sales forecasting (BASES) and Mixed Market Modeling (Custom Analytics). The reasons for this high turnover include weak onboarding process, difficulty moving around within the company, the technical nature of the work, poor work/life balance, and insufficient compensation. My examples below will primarily address the forecasting branch of Nielsen.

Onboarding
Although Nielsen has made good gains in terms of training new hires, the adjustment to work is still very rough. The current best practice includes giving a new analyst a large project, preferably one that requres concept and product analysis, a project that takes over a month to complete. This means that most people work long hours to complete the first project and learn quickly, while a meaningful minority do not catch on quick enough and are usually let go within the first year or two.

Moving within the Company
Although some individuals are able to move from department to department, most find this challenging. In order to move, you need to prove that 1) you are valuable enough to stay with the company but 2) not too valuable that your manager doesn't want to you to leave the team. Often people leave the company because they are not able to get out of their current department to a different part of Nielsen.

Technical Work
The work that Nielsen does can be quite exacting and detail oriented. Some leave simply because they don't like marketing research, forecasting or analysis.

Work/Life Balance
As with any project-based supplier, the Nielsen forecasting department has difficulties keeping a good work/life balance. If you are assigned a large project, you have to simply work hard until it is completed. This can mean working 60+ hours per week when things are busy. If you have firm commitments in the evenings and need a definite 8-5 job, this is probably not a good fit for you.

Insufficient Compensation
Nielsen salaries are competitive for new college hires, but pay increases are meager as you spend time working for the company. At the same time, the experience that you get an Nielsen is quite valuable. A number of my coworkers leave Nielsen after three or four years because they can take a 25% pay increase to work somewhere else. Nielsen currently does not have a strong compensation program to keep talented individuals at the company, especially when they have been at Nielsen for over three years.

Advice to Senior ManagementWhile most Nielsen managers are doing their best to manage the situation, many issues can be addressed through a few simple steps.
1) Hire based on historical turnover rates. Currently a position is not filled unless someone leaves the company. Unfortunately, finding a new employee and training them to be as productive as the previous employee, will take at least a year. This means that the rest of the team works over-time during that period, causing further burnout. Since the vast majority of employees leave the company by 3 years, Nielsen should hire new employees at a steady rate to back-fill spots and reduce long hours and unneeded employee burnout.
2) Allow better inter-departmental transfers. Although a person might not be great at forecasting, he or she could still be a valuable asset to the company. The current process makes it difficult to move between departments, meaning that Nielsen often loses talented employees needlessly.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    Academy company, dynamic and open

    Senior Client Service Executive (Current Employee)
    San Juan, PR

    I have been working at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 3 years


    Pros: Open communication, access to high management within country, constant learning… Cons: Long hours, work life balance Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Run far run fast

    OUTSIDE SALES (Current Employee)

    I have been working at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 3 years


    Pros: If you are starving its a job Cons: be warned!!!! They will lie about everything to get you in the company. Then you find yourself working with out dated equipment that does not work.… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
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