Arthur Nielsen

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Arthur Charles Nielsen, Sr. (September 5, 1897June 1, 1980) was an American market analyst.


Arthur Charles Nielsen was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was of Danish descent. Nielsen was educated at University of Wisconsin, B.S. summa cum laude. 1918. Nielsen was a member of the Sigma Phi Society. He was also captain of the varsity tennis team from 1916 to 1918 and a long time supporter of the game. He subsequently served in U.S. Naval Reserve.


Nielsen worked as an electrical engineer for Isko Company in Chicago from 1919–20 and for H. P. Gould Company in Chicago from 1920-23. Nielsen was the founder of the ACNielsen company in 1923, and in doing so advanced the new field of marketing research. This involved (1) test marketing new products to determine their viability prior to costly mass marketing and production, and (2) measuring product sales at a random sample of stores to determine market share. Careful statistical sampling is crucial to validate this process. The techniques developed by Nielsen were especially important for the efficient operation of a market prior to the introduction of computerized digital networks that in the 1990s enabled continuous and comprehensive monitoring of sales by product retailers. Nielsen was also a pioneer in developing methods of measuring the audience of radio and television broadcasting programs, most notably the Nielsen ratings. A.C. Nielsen. U.S. Media Market Researcher (The Museum of Broadcast...
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