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Microsoft and Nielsen Rev Up Retail Innovation through Data and AI

By Chrissie Cluney

Microsoft and Nielsen have developed an enterprise data solution that makes one of the largest consumer data sets accessible to the retail world. 

This strategic alliance has been brought to life through Nielsen Connect, which is powered by Microsoft Azure. It is the trusted and global-scale intelligent cloud platform. Both Microsoft and Nielsen are focused on helping Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and retail companies find growth and accelerate innovation within an open data environment.

“Nielsen’s powerful data is as much of an enterprise asset as people and products,” said John Tavolieri, president, U.S. FMCG and retail and chief technology and operations officer, Nielsen. “It’s our priority to make sure clients are maximizing their data assets, so Nielsen and Microsoft are breaking down the silos of the status quo. We are helping the retail industry reimagine its approach to data by creating a truly open and global environment of collaboration, encouraging companies to evolve beyond mere data management. Adopting a holistic data strategy will be the only way to win in FMCG and retail.”

What is the Nielsen Connect achieving for companies? Nielsen Connect is inspiring companies to gather more value from their data. It is also creating a movement for the industry to reimagine its approach to data strategy. Because of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence services built on Azure, Nielsen Connect is assisting companies to integrate data assets for more easily spot emerging trends, diagnose performance gaps and act faster on opportunities to grow. Most importantly, this platform enables clients to use their data as an enterprise asset across all parts of their organization.

“The first critical step toward digital transformation, especially among retailers, is breaking down the barriers between customer and operational data to fuel insights for the business,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. “Because retail happens wherever customers are and whenever they choose, Nielsen Connect provides high reliability at a global scale 24/7. Microsoft is a natural partner for Nielsen, trusted by global enterprises to protect their data and power their critical business solutions.”

Nielsen Connect brings clarity to what’s happening in the market from every angle. The company’s deep media and consumer measurement, which includes retail point-of-sale data, consumer panel, e-commerce, fresh food and cross-platform media data, is integrated with a variety of data sources. This includes data provided directly from clients as well as from Nielsen Connect Partners. Nielsen’s reference data, which provides structure to the world’s most robust retail and shopper information, powers this system to make integration across data sources and countries simple.


Chrissie Cluney has been a correspondent for IoT Evolution World since 2015. She holds a degree in English with a concentration in writing from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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