Thursday, April 21, 2016

New From Nielsen: The Replacements for Maximi$er and PD Advantage/Desktop

Starting this week, many programmers will be breaking out their quarterly ratings for the first time without Maximi$er.

Nielsen has just retired the legacy software along with PD Advantage Desktop and Data Express (ADE). Former Maximi$er clients will have access to PDA Light (the Max replacement) while former desktop PDA Advantage clients will have access to PDA Web.

If you are a programmer upgrading from Tapscan or E-Book only access, you’ll love the deeper dive into your numbers that you can take with these two programs.  Long-time Max/PDA users should feel comfortable fairly quickly – especially with PDA Web.

For a quick overview of what to expect, here is Nielsen’s summary of the new products: 

Besides delivery, there are several changes and additions in the online version of PD Advantage Light and PD Advantage which too has migrated from the desktop.

In both cases, station data lives online rather than being available for download (thus the automatic retirement of ADE). This means of course that users must be online to generate reports. 

Navigating the online version of PD Advantage will look very familiar to users of the desktop software. PDA Light’s navigation on the other hand is different from Max although it's intuitive – especially if you were a regular user of Maximi$er’s Programmers Package. 

Now, here’s a closer look at PDA Light and PD Advantage Web.

PDA Light

After logging in, the user is presented with a new reports screen (legacy Maximi$er on the left and the new PDA Light on the right). 

All the Maximi$er reports are in PDA Light with the exception of Report N (Total Day-To-Day Listening) and Report O (Specific Day-To-Day Listening). 

Format Norms and Top Performers (formerly a PD Advantage-only report) will be added to PDA Light later this year – a nice addition for comparing local vs. national performance.

Some of the “clunky” parts of Maximi$er have been streamlined. For example in PDA Light, demos and other report criteria can be selected using “blue links” at the top of report pages; this makes comparing demos and dayparts easier since users won’t have to leave a report screen to change parameters as in Maximi$er.

Meanwhile the process for changing base weeks is nearly identical to that in Maximi$er. And, just like in Max, you can trend up to 5 books on one screen.        

Report formats, like this for Daypart Trending, can look a bit different though the important content is nearly identical.

In another change, Diary Comments will now be released simultaneously with the quarterly data eliminating the CD delivery method. If you’ve reviewed your diaries in person, you’ll find the sorting options familiar, enabling you to quickly see your comments separate for the entire market.

With the exception of Diary Comments which date back only to fall 2015, all other data will go back 3 ½ years for trending purposes.

While it was not the most critical of the Maximi$er reports, I’ll miss report N which was an easy way to check Horizontal Cuming.  Plus, for travelers, only having access to data online will be an inconvenience.

Still, there are a number of Maximi$er upgrades that I like a lot, particularly the addition of Format Norms and Top Performers.

PD Advantage Web

For former desktop users of PD Advantage, 16 reports from the legacy version have migrated to PDA Web with some reports having new looks or additions. One of these is the Cume/TSL Report (“Grid of Pain”) which now offers multiple cume and TSL scenarios on how a specified ratings goal can be attained.

The Leading Indicators Report has a new graphing option and there’s also a new Audience Sharing report that expands on what’s in PDA Light. Also there is a newly added HD/Streaming Station report.

At this point “Workplace Zip Code” and “Mostly Spanish Breakouts” reports are presently unavailable in PDA Web though the latter is available in Tapscan.

As you go through your first analysis using the new software, feel free to call for help either in interpretation or execution. 

And of course we’d love to hear/share YOUR observations and experiences with this new software. 

Special thanks to Nielsen’s Jennifer Bratten, Manager Client Support, who provided me with a guided tour of both products, patiently answers my questions, and generously shared her slide deck so that A&O&B stations could be better informed. Also, Jennifer hosts Nielsen’s online training sessions. She’s an excellent presenter with a wealth of information on how to get the most from Nielsen’s products. Nielsen Audio clients can see and sign up for future sessions here.

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