The word “assignment” makes us feel lethargic, reminds us of “important things” we were supposed to do, and makes us procrastinate till the assignment is due, probably the next day! (The list is by no means exhaustive 🙂 ) Unbelievable to many (including the students, initially), the assignments in the Market Research program are interesting to say the least ! Contrary to most institutions where the assignments are based on answering a set of questions, the ones at Northpoint require sincere efforts, hard work and creativity of the student.

An example of one such assignment is the one on “Big Data”. Google defines Big Data as: “extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.”

Digressing a little, the lectures in the Market Research program are conducted by senior, experienced professionals from Nielsen (, the worldwide leader in Market Research. Recently, Mr. Prashant Singh and Mr. Kunal Gupta, from the Data Analytics team at Nielsen, India conducted a two day session on Big Data. The session introduced the students to the rudiments of Big Data, provided an insight into how Big Data is used in the industry and specifically at Nielsen, and ended the session by giving the students an assignment on the topic. As you must have guessed by now, the students were more than eager to get their hands on the assignment.

The brief of the assignment was to integrate various data sets such as the national census, consumption data, marketing data, etc to derive insights about consumers. While each of the data set provides information about the consumer, combining the various data sets provides the market researcher / marketer with an unprecedented power to understand the consumer and reach out to them.

As a response to the assignment, the author of the blog article, used the following observation:

-In urban India, increasing number of consumers watch live sports in an outdoor environment such as café, pub or a dedicated sports bar.
-Consumers prefer to be present at a venue that reflects their lifestyle/aspirations
-Considering India plays close to 20-25 One day Internationals in Cricket, 30-40 Days of IPL and gaining popularity of Football in urban areas, information about the consumers during the sports event is of significant financial importance to marketers.
Following datasets were chosen:

1. Alcohol and Beverage Panel, that measures the consumption of alcohol and related beverages across India

2. Mobile location data of the consumer, which provides the movement of the consumer within a particular geography

3. Point of interest database, which provides the GPS coordinates of the required landmarks/stores/schools/etc

4. Indicus Analytics Database, a proprietary database that provides the SEC classification of consumers based on geography

Combining the above mentioned datasets can reveal the following information:

-Which beverages are sold the most during a sport event? (Alcohol and Beverage Panel)
-Where are these beverages consumed the most? (Consumer’s mobile location data (MLD), Point of Interest Database to provide the GPS co-ordinates of the location, Alcohol and Beverage Panel)
-Which pubs or sports bars are visited the most during a live sporting event? (Consumer’s MLD, Point of Interest Database)
-Is there a popular route to these destinations? (Consumer’s MLD)
-From where do consumers travel to these venues? (Consumer’s MLD)
-What is the spending capacity of these consumers? (Consumer’s MLD to identify their residence, Indicus Analytics Database)
The assignment required considerable amount of research, synthesis of information and ingenuity to decide on “what to study” i.e the “going out during the sporting event market” and “how to study” i.e choosing the relevant datasets.
The students await another assignment 🙂
Trivikram Chausalkar
MarComm Council
PGPMR 2014-15