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Nielsen Datasets

Eligibility and Restrictions


  • Tenured and tenure track faculty, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers are eligible to have direct access. Researchers may not share the data with individuals not registered and approved by the Kilts Center, including any student in an undergraduate or master's program.
  • Each individual eligible to access the data must have a subscription at his/her own home institution.
  • Access by PhD students or postdoctoral researchers requires a subscription by the student's or postdoc's advisor. THe advisor must be a full-time tenured or tenure track professor from the same institution. The PhD or postdoc and the faculty advisor are required to register individually.

Project Criteria

  • Researchers may use the data for strictly academic research projects focused on important issues of wide and general interest.
  • Research projects commissioned, sponsored, or funded by an industry source, government organization, industry group, nonprofit organization, or private company must be reviewed and approved by Nielsen as part of the registration process. Unapproved research of this nature is strictly prohibited.
  • Narrowly focused projects on subjects of interest only to specific industries or firms may be declined.
  • Researchers must disclose any changes to their project scope, co-authors, or funding sources during the course of their research.
  • Use of the data for consulting purposes of any kind, including litigation support, is strictly prohibited. Projects with a primary purpose of evaluating Nielsen's data collection approach or methodologies will not be approved.
  • Researchers must not disclose any personally identifiable information about consumer panelists or details that would permit re-indentification of Nielsen consumer panelists.
  • Researchers licensed by Nielsen to use any other consumer panel data, must have written permission from Nielsen to link anonymized household IDs.
  • Researchers must not disclose any information about specific retailers or individual stores, or details that would permit re-identification of Nielsen's retailers or individual stores.
  • Researchers must not disclose UPC-level pricing or other UPS-level data that Nielsen received from retailers.

Use Requirements

  • Every researcher must register and submit an annual status update and disclose changes to my project scope, new funding sources, co-authors, and other updates as requested. Data must be stored only on devices and computers owned by the subscribed institution or permissible Third Party Hosting Systems. The permissible Third Party Hosting Systems must have at least one of the following information security certifications: (a) Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); (b) SSAE16 SOC2; and/or ISO27001 security certifications. No amount of data should ever be stored on a personal computer,
  • Within 15 days of subscription end date or deactivation, each researcher must provide all papers, complete a final report, and provide signed verification that she/he destroyed and purged all copies of the data by filling out a Data Destruction Certificate.

Papers and Publication Policies

  • Presentations, papers, and publications must include the following citation:
    • "Researcher(s) own analyses calculated (or derived) based in part on data from the Nielsen Company (US), LLC and marketing databases provided through the Nielsen Datasets at the Kilts Center for Marketing Data Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business."
    • "The Conclusions drawn from the Nielsen data are those of the researcher(s) and do not reflect the views of Nielsen. Nielsen is not responsible for, had no role in, and was not involved in analyzing and preparing the results reported herein."
  • ​Researchers must submit copies of all proposed papers, reports, presentations, and publications to the Kilts Center at least 30 days prior to public dissemination (including SSRN) or final publication. Any distributed materials may include only limited excerpts of Nielsen information - "limited excerpt" means such portion of the Nielsen data that would not ordinarily substitute for a purchase of access to the Nielsen data. 
  • Thirty days after providing Kilts Center a copy of a working paper, researchers must submit such papers to the Kilts Center for Marketing Nielsen Data Research Working Paper Series at Social Science Research Network (SSRN).
  • Researchers are required to notify the Kilts Center of publications resulting from their work with the data, even after they have stopped using the data.