The Nielsen Company

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1 person found this helpful  

Have you overstayed your welcome?

Senior Marketing Analyst (Former Employee) Cincinnati, OH

ProsGet familiar with Nielsen data (ANSWERS, SPECTRA, Price & Promotion Simulator, anything you can get your hands on)
Remember your agency contacts.
Want to grab some international experience? Rotation programs are available.
Want to put SPSS on your resume but aren't exactly quant savvy? This place can give you the dummy version.
Nielsen is involved in a lot of different things, if you feel like networking a bunch and fight your way out of CPG/Analytics/Cincinnati, you can. But it's 100% on you.
It's an OK place to start after college, but don't over stay your welcome: 2-3 yrs then move on if you can.
It's ok to be openly looking for jobs here. Everyone else is.

ConsI can only speak for my direct team from my personal experience. Keep in mind Nielsen is a big place and there are certainly ppl who had better experience than I during their time here. Don't take my word for it, talk to people, do your own research and look at other reviews!
1. Mngmt changes often and can be very political. The "balance of power" means rarely people would step on anyone's toes to help you out. If you get assigned to a not so great mnger...just your luck. Also the company is split into two locations, don't be surprised if you don't see your mnger/director or co workers for months at a time. Not enough attention is put on how to solve real growing pains like how to remedy the lack of off cycle training (I think some other reviews have mentioned, and I agree, onboarding is a joke here), how to deal with the high turnover, how to grow young analysts into mngers etc. The changes that have been put into place are often not well executed. Training for new tools and even the tools themselves often won't be available until the week you need them. While uppermngt already promised client shorten cycle time causing stress on the analysts. The lack of proper execution is overlooked as mngmt hurry to celebrate success, and move on to their next big role.
3.Directors are often soft when negotiating with the client. The skill to influence is just simply not there.This puts more work on the mnger and the analysts, causing extra pressure and stress during time of delivery. On the flip side, clients are actually well trained on how to push for things. Don't be surprised if you are dealing with a demanding client and don't feel like you have a good internal support network.
3. Hours are less than ideal. For six months out of the year you are about 60% capacity, and for the other six: 120%. I didn't mind it much but I've seen other ppl with families who are frustrated because they don't get to spend time with their young kids. That's the high stress nature of the job, which is fine, except when I interviewed, the work life balance was an actual selling point.
4. You will be rated here which is absolutely fair. However the way you are presented at these calibration sessions are entirely opaque, especially at the analyst level. By the time you get your feedback, the budget is already set for the year. Mngmt can also be very unforgiving towards circumstances the mngmt put you in, for example: someone got hired on mid year into a team with high turnovers with a not so great mnger and minimal training has to do as well as anyone else. So if you stay, do yourself a favor and talk to your mnger/director in the month of SEPT and make sure they represent you fairly. Even then, don't be surprised if you don't get a raise and no one gives you a honest explanation. You are going to get rotated next year anyways. What incentive does anyone have to fight for your development? Just FYI, when you do get promoted, you will be called a "spok" where you do mnger work for analyst pay for at least a year to prove yourself. Also the actual managerial training is optional. So big surprise! People who are stat nerds, aren't always great mngers, and people who would make good mngers...probably moved on already.
5. Which brings me to my next point, expect your incoming class to be mostly gone when they are able to take away the 401K match if not before. Of course there are personal reasons etc etc, but one HUGE reason is that the standard compensation here is not competitive enough to make people who are truly driven and are truly good with data to stay. The tools we use right now is automated in many ways and will continue to evolve in that direction, so think about your exiting strategy: are you serious about analytics? If so, you will learn more serious stat application elsewhere AND get paid more. Why would you stay? If you are not super into stats, but got a great business mind, every other vendor/retailer out there is looking for business analyst who knows Nielsen data and offers 30% upside. Why would you stay? Of course there are exceptions! Don't take my word for it, ask your hiring mnger: what % of people here have been w/ the firm for more than 3-5 yrs, and just know that there is a reason for this.
6. Ideally HR's goal is to make you to feel like you are part of a team and have this highly cohesive environment. That would be great except the current HR partner is thousands of miles away and only returns your e-mail about 30% of the time (still better than some VPs/directors here) and can't seem to remember anything you said. At this point you have a pretty horrible work life balance, doing mnger work for analyst pay, and all your friends are gone. Say you don't care about any of that and still want to trust the mngmt and drink the cool-aid ... be aware when you negotiate and make sure you have the upper mngmt's promises down in writing, don't be unpleasantly surprised in the end. OR, just be smart and take your 401K match and move on.

Advice to Senior ManagementBring back the onsite HR partner! The current personnel is less than helpful.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Had a reasonable run, but so happy to be outside.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 10 years


    Pros: While many in the industry love to hate such a dominant player like Nielsen, it is filled with bright people who have access to… Cons: While management in general is made up of solid people, the "suck-up" mentality that pervades the company i.e. perpetuating the accepted party line espoused by… Advice to Senior Management: Support more rabble rousers among the rank and file. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Culture going downhill

    Senior Business Analyst (Former Employee) Schaumburg, IL

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 10 years


    Pros: Smart colleagues technology-based end-to-end value chain interesting business Cons: learning curve is steep with poor onboarding not a meritocracy despite propaganda to the contrary isolating work environment since employees… Advice to Senior Management: shedding experienced people who know the business to reduce overhead… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More
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