The Nielsen Company is a company of firsts: the first market research firm; the inventor of the concept of market share; the first to measure TV audiences. From its beginning in 1923 the company has been at the forefront of delivering innovative solutions to help its clients increase market effectiveness. With consumers today digesting more content than ever on a wealth of devices and platforms, effectively targeting them with the right message at the right time on the right device is a challenge facing many businesses—it’s a challenge Nielsen strives to solve for its clients.
“We are in the middle of a seismic change in the way consumers are using multiple devices to watch video content,” said Alan Bosworth, Nielsen Company’s Vice President of Research & Development. “And our current technology approach to measure video across so many devices had a lot of limitations.”
That approach was a mostly on-premise data infrastructure with limited integrations, scalability and availability that wasn’t able to meet customer requirements for understanding the implications of this new paradigm of highly-fragmented consumer usage of media across many devices.
“We are a global performance management company,” Bosworth explained. “And we need a computing platform that can give our clients a comprehensive understanding of what the consumer watches, when, on what device and what motivates the decision
To achieve that result, Bosworth realized that Nielsen had to wean itself away from its on-premise configuration to the cloud to manage the massive amount of data that comes with monitoring the viewing and buying habits of consumers in over 100 countries and develop solutions to help marketers make more effective business decisions.
Bosworth had determined that deploying a Node.js environment, with its ability to optimize an application’s throughput and scalability, was the ideal solution for Nielsen. Now it needed the ideal hosting platform that provided a complete technology stack that allows developers to get apps to market faster and at a low total cost of ownership. Bosworth also required a long-term business partner to provide guidance and technical support through the process.
After a thorough market search, Bosworth chose Modulus™, a Progress company, in a platform as a service configuration (PaaS) running Node.js, Redis, RabbitMQ and MongoDB.
“We understand our domain but don’t necessarily understand a lot of the technologies and other pieces needed to put it together,” Bosworth said. “For example, we’d come up with what we think is a good solution and we would ask the Modulus team to review our architecture. Their input is allowing us to create solutions that we know will be more scalable and have high availability when we deploy.”
Bosworth and his team are now in the process of moving from research and development to production. Modulus’ opinionated platform has enabled the team to focus more time on development and less time on infrastructure and configuration, significantly accelerating speed to market.
“The Modulus platform has helped us cut infrastructure ramp-up time,” Bosworth said.
“We didn’t have to worry about that piece—we could just focus on development—porting our current application logic to the Node.js stack which will clearly cut the time to market.”
Moving Nielsen’s traditional measurement methodology to the cloud is a vast undertaking, representing a huge change in the company’s computing strategy. It is a long-term process, one that requires a flexible solution.
“We want to be able to scale and move things quickly to the cloud but still have some software infrastructure running on-premise because of all the data centers we have out there,” Bosworth explained. “A key decision point for us to go with Modulus is its ability to support a hybrid environment, allowing us to scale out and move to the cloud on demand.”
The rapid change in the way media is consumed is changing the way Nielsen collects its measurement data.
“We are developing the cloud-based measurement solution using Modulus to solve one of the key
business challenges that’s facing the media industry today—the highly-fragmented usage of media across many devices,” Bosworth explained. “Modulus is helping us solve this challenge by reducing the friction of integrating measurement instrumentation into their product by moving everything to the cloud, so changes we make to our business logic will not impact our clients.”
Nielsen is beginning its cloud deployment with a US-based media measurement app. Because Nielsen tracks the media habits of consumers in more than 100 countries, in time Bosworth anticipates Modulus supporting cloud-based solutions internationally and across many sectors of the business. Achieving that goal not only requires a state-of- the-art PaaS solution, but a dependable long-term business partner.
“We have established a very good relationship with the Progress Modulus team,” Bosworth said. “They are always available with the support we need as well being there to provide insight, reviewing our architecture and steadily guiding us through the process.”
Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.