Drilling or mining? Handling and analysis of data between now and the year 2000

Tony Antoniou,
AMER World Research Ltd, Cyprus


In 1986, Information Resources, Inc. introduced the concept of national coverage of retail panels in the United States via scanner–based tracking. At around the same time A.C. Nielsen which had also previously collected some scan data, but who had until that time to a large extent depended on audits, also decided to shift to a 100% scan product.

Scanner–based retail tracking services quickly took off in the United States and it was not long thereafter that they moved into other markets where scanning prevailed amongst retail locations.

A large number of benefits were perceived to be associated with scan data and the industry rapidly turned its focus on this new approach. See Table 1.


Better quality data

Faster turnaround of data

Higher frequency of points (weekly vs bi–monthly)

More facts and measures

More views of a market

Greater item detail