Kim Anstett

CIO, Nielsen

Supernova Award Category: 

Future of Work: Employee Experience

The Company: 

The Nielsen Company (Nielsen) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide.  The insights we provide to our clients are essential to companies in a variety of industries, including media and entertainment, consumer products, and retail, that must stay in touch with customers in a fast-changing marketplace.

Nielsen is uniquely positioned to drive performance management solutions for our clients around the globe. We are focused on innovating to stay ahead of evolving market trends, allowing us to provide our clients with world-class measurement as well as analytics that help them make strategic business decisions every day.

The Problem: 

In order to provide our clients with the most comprehensive data and analytics on consumers’ behavior that allows them to make smarter and faster decisions, help them increase sales, revenue and brand equity, as well as to boost market share, we needed to change the way we innovate and leverage the scale of our solutions so we can pivot when our clients change. Having the right technological solutions has allowed us to strengthen collaboration amongst our teams, innovate faster and better engage with our clients.

We saw an opportunity to improve collaboration by moving productivity apps to the cloud, allowing employees to work anytime, anywhere, and on any device. In keeping with our cloud-first strategy and digital transformation, we wanted to give employees state-of-the-art collaboration tools, knowing that a global, cloud-based toolset would help change the way everyone in the company works and maximize the value we deliver to our customers.

We also needed an enterprise-ready solution with a rich feature set, broad compatibility, and strong security.

The Solution: 

From the start, we made sure that top executives and leadership from security, marketing, and communications teams were involved in the migration process. A series of workshops and immersive demos with Google brought the G Suite tools alive for key stakeholders, allowing them to experience the power of cloud collaboration firsthand.

Employees who volunteered to be early adopters of G Suite got a head start using the collaboration apps to serve as champions to their colleagues. We appointed Google Guides at global offices to help distribute marketing materials, raise awareness, and make sure colleagues could get fast answers to their questions. We went live with G Suite globally with over 50,000 accounts over a single weekend. The migration included 150 TB of mail and 46 TB of documents. To highlight the successful launch, Google Guides led celebrations around the world, wearing shirts in Google colors and waving flags to generate enthusiasm.

The Results: 

Business continued uninterrupted while productivity surged. Employees adopted G Suite enthusiastically and embraced new ways of working. Google Drive changed how our employees work together, allowing them to move from an email-based work environment to real-time collaboration. We saw a 92% adoption rate for Drive shortly after launch. Employees now have a consistent and productive experience regardless of the device they are using, which has accelerated adoption. Previously, teams sent numerous versions of files back and forth requiring someone to consolidate the changes, which was a lengthy and error-prone process. When Nielsen began creating content in Docs, Sheets and Slides, team members were excited that they could edit a document simultaneously and in real time, without the need for version control; better yet, they could do so in the Nielsen templates that they were already familiar with. In addition, our associates quickly began taking advantage of the video conferencing capabilities with the entire company averaging over 500K video calls per month.  We have been able to outfit over 300 meeting rooms with Chromebox for Meeting video conferencing units for a quarter of the cost of our previous equipment. We also deployed Jamboards which have played a huge role in improving meeting efficiency and collaboration, regardless of where associates are located. The effectiveness of video conferencing has resulted in a 30% travel spend reduction for the IT organization alone.


Within just a few months of our transition to G Suite, we saw a 92% adoption rate of Google Drive. Associates began to realize the productivity increase from working in real-time on file creation, which used to be a lengthy, error-prone process requiring multiple file versions to be exchanged via email. Because Nielsen’s enterprise IT staff no longer need to provide the same degree of support and maintenance that was needed for traditional desktop office software, they can concentrate on initiatives that move the business forward. One team in particular was collecting metrics in many different spreadsheets from more than 150 teams. Now, with departments co-authoring Sheets and Google Forms capturing survey data automatically, this team is saving 7 hours per reporting cycle. Because of the attractive price point of the Chromebox for Meeting units, we have been able to outfit over 300 meeting rooms with video conferencing capabilities for a quarter of the cost of our previous equipment. This has grown our video conferencing footprint by 8x in the past 2 years. Because meeting engagement is significantly improved through the use of video, we have been able to reduce travel costs by 30% in our IT organization. We have also seen incredible adoption of Google+, averaging over 33 thousand unique users per month on the platform. It has become so popular, that many of our internal communications are delivered through G+, instead of traditional platforms, like email.

The Technology: 
  • G Suite (Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drive, Sites)
  • Chromebox for Meeting (CfMs)
  • Jamboard
Disruptive Factor: 

There will always be those who feel uncomfortable or resist change. To mitigate this, we offered training in many forms to appeal to different learning styles - live/recorded training (100+ sessions in 8 different languages), open Q&A sessions, user and quick-start guides and tips and tricks sessions. We were always very open and honest in our messaging about the change, so associates felt a sense of ownership.

The transition to Google has introduced efficiency and improved collaboration across Nielsen.  With 92% Drive adoption, associates are reaping the benefits of centralized content and real-time collaboration. Working within documents through commenting has significantly improved the content creation process and moved workflow out of the inbox.

The use of video conferencing has positively improved the status quo and fostered more efficient meetings across the enterprise. Our average video calls per month exceeds 500K because associates appreciate a more personal and engaging meeting experience with the use of video.

Nielsen also has significant adoption rates for G+, with 33 thousand active users per month. G+ has been a conduit for openness and transparency in information sharing across the Enterprise. It also serves as a creative path to extend the reach of important corporate announcements seeing that associates prefer to ingest information in various formats.  

Shining Moment: 

The leaders of Nielsen’s transition to Google were recognized for making a significant impact on the company and the technology industry. Our CIO, Kim Anstett, was honored as CIO of the year by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) and the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Program Manager, Nerina Martinez was recognized as Emerging Technology Leader of the Year by the TBTF. At the recent Google Cloud Next conference, Kim Anstett conducted two keynote speeches related to our journey to Google.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what's happening now, what's happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.