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Nielsen, Microsoft Align to Democratize Retail Data With AI

New partnership will enable clients to harness data as an enterprise asset within an open data environment
John Tavolieri, president, U.S. FMCG and retail and chief technology and operations officer at Nielsen and Judson Althoff, EVP of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business, on stage at Nielsen’s Data Drives Growth event; Photograph courtesy of Neilsen

Nielsen and Microsoft have embarked on a major partnership to develop a new enterprise solution that the companies say is poised to “democratize” data assets in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail marketplace.

The new alliance between the two companies will apply the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide retail trading partners access to powerful analytics based on customer and industry data “to enable companies to more easily detect emerging trends, diagnose performance gaps and act faster on emerging growth opportunities,” according to a press release.

Now live, Nielsen Connect is powered by Microsoft Azure’s intelligent cloud platform and will enable clients to harness their data as an enterprise asset across all parts of their organization to help unlock growth and accelerate innovation within an open data environment.

“Adopting a holistic data strategy will be the only way to win in FMCG and retail,” said John Tavolieri, Nielsen’s president of U.S. FMCG and retail and chief technology and operations officer, in a release.

Nielsen’s powerful data is as much of an enterprise asset as people and products,” he continued, noting that it’s a top “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.”

Judson Althoff, EVP of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business, said that “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. 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.”

The strategic alliance between Microsoft and Nielsen will find the partners working to further “a mutual vision of an open and connected data universe, empowering a new generation of solutions for the FMCG retail marketplace,” the release said.

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