Subscription Process


Accessing the data first requires a subscription contract between a researcher’s institution and Chicago Booth. Once the subscription contract is in place, each eligible researcher must register a project for review before gaining access to the data.

Setting Up the Subscription Contract

The contract-review process and procurement process vary considerably by institution.

  1. To request a subscription contract, complete the subscription request form.
  2. Within eight to ten business days, a Chicago Booth contract manager will send a contract for review and execution.
  3. Upon execution of the contract, the contract administrator will receive an invoice for fees. Acceptable forms of payment include ACH, wire transfer, or check. Credit card payments are not accepted.
  4. Upon receipt of fees, we activate the subscription and send details about eligibility, policies, and steps for how each individual researcher can register to access the data.
  5. A named contract administrator is responsible for approving requests for registration codes (one per researcher) via an online portal.

Individual Registration Process

The Kilts Center team reviews project registrations within three business days.

  1. As part of the online registration, an individual researcher provides contact information and project summaries.
  2. The Kilts Center reviews each registration for eligibility and funding sources, and to ensure that projects meet required criteria.
  3. Researchers who have any funding external to the institution must go through an additional review process and may not be approved.
  4. Once approved, the researcher receives information about how to retrieve a copy of the data. Included with the data download are detailed manuals for each dataset.
  5. Through the registration process, researchers accept responsibility for all criteria and requirements required by the contract.
  6. Researchers are required to submit annual project status updates and receive automated reminders to do so.
  7. When a subscription ends or an individual leaves the institution, each researcher must destroy all copies of the data.

Data Delivery

  • Annual data updates are released in approximately the first quarter each calendar year (timing subject to change). All registered researchers receive an announcement when new data are available.
  • Once decompressed and/or unzipped, the files are in a flat TSV (tab separated values) format.
  • All data are retrievable via an online file transfer system.
  • Consumer Panel Data are available in prepackaged files that include all years of data. The dataset is approximately 3GB per year of data (i.e., 10 years of data = 30GB).
  • Ad Intel Data are available in prepackaged files that include all years of data. These data are approximately 50GB per year.
  • The Retail Scanner Data are approximately .5TB per year. The majority of Retail Scanner Data users do not need the full dataset and therefore will use an online application to request custom-built file packages of data files that include those required for a project. The sizes of the custom-built data packages vary based on the request.
  • For users who wish to use the full set of Retail Scanner Data, prepackaged files of the data are available for download from the online file-transfer system. These prepackaged yearly files are approximately .5TB each.
  • Before applying for the data, researchers should confirm that they are equipped to work with the data (i.e., RAM, storage, and processor speed).

Contact Us

Questions about the Nielsen datasets at the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing? Contact us by email.

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