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Nielsen Marketing Data



Two marketing datasets are available:

  • Consumer Panel Data: includes information about product purchases made by a panel of consumer households across all retail outlets in all US markets. The data includes purchases from all Nielsen-tracked categories, including food, non-food grocery items, health and beauty aids, and select general merchandise. The data represents approximately 40,000-60,000 US households who continually provide information about the makeup of their households, the products they buy, as well as when and where they make purchases.

  • Retail Scanner Data: consists of weekly purchase and pricing data generated from participating retail store point-of-sale systems in all US markets. Data are included from approximately 35,000 grocery, drug, mass merchandiser, and other stores. Products from all Nielsen-tracked categories are included in the data, such as food, non-food grocery items, health and beauty aids, and select general merchandise.

Eligibility and Policies

Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty can subscribe to access to the datasets for academic research purposes only. This excludes clinical professors, adjunct professors, lecturers, and other nontenure track faculty. PhD students can access data only under the supervision of a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty member from the PhD student�s program. The faculty advisor is responsible for the PhD student compliance with the policies for access to the databases. Some license restrictions to keep in mind:

  • Researchers seeking access to the data must register with the Kilts Center for Marketing at Chicago Booth.

  • Students in undergraduate or masters programs cannot access the data directly; access for these students must be made through a faculty member researcher who is registered with the Marketing Data Center and who indicates plans for directing and accepting direct responsibility for the student�s access in a classroom or independent study setting.

  • Each researcher shall provide Chicago Booth with an annual status report of all applicable projects for that researcher. All working papers produced using the data must be submitted to the Chicago Booth Kilts Center for Marketing Nielsen Data Research Working Paper Series at the Social Science Research Network.

  • Data cannot be used to perform projects that are sponsored, initiated or funded by other organizations, including, but not limited to: commercial entities, foundations, industry groups, government agencies, or non-profit organizations.

A complete list of policies can be found here.


Registration for access to the Nielsen Marketing Databases is facilitated by the Northwestern University library. Please contact the Business Collection Development Librarian, Carol Doyle, for access.

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