NEW YORK: ACNielsen parent VNU, belatedly awoken to the fact that its myriad research units are awash with consumer data, has decided to blaze a pathfinding trail through this agglomeration of information. Its new baby is christened Nielsen Connect.

Godfather-ceo is Jon Mandel, poached from WPP Group's Group M where he was chief of strategic solutions. He reports direct to VNU's Big Kahuna, chairman/ceo David L Calhoun.

Mandel will supervise the culling of information from VNU consumer-research units worldwide, among them Nielsen Media Research, ACNielsen and Sound Scan.

Data warehousing is hardly a new concept and some observers express incredulity that VNU has taken so long to exploit such obvious assets. Mandel apparently agrees.

"There's such a plethora of information within this place that can all be cross-connected. [We'll be] making it into concise information that clients can use to make decisions going forward and to analyze how they did looking back and to rejigger the next step," he said.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff