Young Alumni Series

Alex Dafoulas ’15 studies the user experience with Nielsen

By March 23, 2018 No Comments

After graduating with a marketing degree in 2015, Alex Dafoulas landed at Nielsen Media Research where has become fascinated by what goes into making a website or mobile app work for consumers.

“People are paying hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to make sure that the user experience is as good as it can be,” Dafoulas said.

Dafoulas started out in customer service and then moved into his current position as technical account manager in the Tampa, Florida, area. He helps clients integrate Nielsen software into their apps and browsers, before testing the product to ensure optimum performance.

“Nielsen is known for their TV ratings,” he said. “That has been their bread and butter for the past 60 years, but as cord cutters have become more prevalent, Nielsen is trying to capture the total audience that is watching because more and more people are watching on apps and browsers.”

Dafoulas said Nielsen is working to give a total content rating ranging from a variety of platforms and intake options open to users.

“That’s where I come into the picture and add the digital aspect to the data,” he said.

A day-to-day work schedule includes contact with Nielsen clients as they discuss the data collected with the Nielsen software and work with the quality assurance team on the process of the code integration.

“We integrate our software into our clients’ apps by providing them our code snippets that they insert into their own code” Dafoulas said. After we’re able to confirm our code has been inserted, we have our quality assurance team run through the app or browser and test it. They’re basically trying to break it to make sure our products will function properly in any scenario.”

Working through the kinks and attempting to “break” the coding lets the quality assurance team see what some users might do that might interrupt the data collection.

Dafoulas said Nielsen works with large companies like CBS, ABC and ESPN. Aside from the media titans in the business, Nielsen works with smaller companies that own a few apps or browsers.

“People are paying hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to make sure that the user experience is as good as it can be,” Dafoulas said.

“[What the data can do] depends on what the company wants,” he said. “Some companies want to know how long people are watching videos on average and some people want to know at what point do users leave a page and whether some parts of their website or app are not optimized as the should be.”

Dafoulas said he thoroughly enjoys what he does at Nielsen. He has found that it is a good company to grow in and learn. During the Olympics, Dafoulas said each of the department teams at Nielsen were competing against each other for the occasion.

He said he never thought he would have ended up where he is when he graduated from Auburn. Being involved in the technology industry pushed him into being interested, and later, working for Nielsen.

“I love Nielsen,” Dafoulas said. “You get the sense that they really value their employees.”