Alternative Data Weekly Newsletter Archives

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A curated digest of must-read news from around the internet about alternative data. Join the buy-side professionals already reading the Alternative Data Weekly.

March 2017

BlackRock slashes fees, invests in data

Business Insider

BlackRock is cutting $30 million in fees on some of its actively managed funds. It is also investing heavily in data and rolling out nine new funds managed by its quantitative investing group. Read More

Hedge funds are training their computers to think like you

Bloomberg

After several winters of AI, quant funds are applying deep-learning algorithms to mimic the ideal trader’s brain. Read More

Neural networks and suspicious edge

Bloomberg

Matt Levine is back and humorous as ever, giving us his take on how hedge funds use neural networks to find trading signals. Read More

Eton Park to shut down as hedge fund industry faces turmoil

The New York Times

In a letter to investors, Eton Park CEO Eric Mindich said a mix of challenging market conditions and poor performance have led to the decision to shutter operations. Read More

Don’t name your hedge fund “Moderate Capital”

Institutional Investor

What’s in a name? A lot, apparently, when it comes to hedge funds. Investors allocate more flows to names with gravitas, even if the returns aren’t there. Read More

Bloomberg terminal base shrinks in 2016

Finextra

Bloomberg sees its terminal user base shrink for only the second time in its 36-year history. Read More

MapD secures $25 million in Series B funding

Fortune

Congratulations to our friends at MapD, who have secured $25 million in funding for their use of powerful GPUs to speed up analysis of large datasets. Read More

Elon Musk’s billion-dollar crusade to stop the AI Apocalypse

Vanity Fair

Elon Musk seriously thinks that AI could turn evil on us and he is taking steps to ensure humanity is prepared. Read More

Teza sells high-speed trading as lucrative business sours

Financial Times

Teza sells its high-speed trading business to Houston-based Quantlab Financial for an estimated US $20–30 million. Read More

Goldman building robo-adviser for the masses

Reuters

Goldman Sachs seeks to broaden their customer base by building a robo-adviser geared to mass affluent customers. Read More

Pit.ai goes back to basics to outperform hedge funds

TechCrunch

Google Fellow and Oxford PhD launches Pit.ai, a machine learning-powered hedge fund that aims to outperform Numerai, Quantopian and others with a unique recipe for seeking alpha. Read More

RavenPack secures $5m investment

Finance Magnates

We’re thrilled for our friends at RavenPack, who have secured $5 million in funding from Draper Esprit to broaden access to their unstructured data analytics. Read More

Foursquare offers Analytics product for retailers

Marketing Land

Foursquare continues its transformation into a data company by announcing Foursquare Analytics, a dashboard that captures retailer foot traffic. Read More

Banks and tech firms battle over data

New York Times

Banks may soon restrict the data they pass to fintech aggregators like Yodlee and Betterment, which could hurt the value of these datasets for investors. Read More

Rise of the machines

DataDisrupt

Join Quandl CEO Tammer Kamel for a rousing panel on AI and alternative data at DataDisrupt in New York City on March 30. Read More

We asked, you answered!

Quandl

Thanks to those of you who answered our Alternative Data Weekly survey. We’ve published a brief summary of the results for your review. Read More

As retailers go silent, big data fills the void

The Wall Street Journal

As retailers cut back on sharing data about their short-term performance, investors are finding creative ways of filling in the gaps. Read More

The data revolution in insurance

The Economist

The once-sleepy insurance industry is being shaken up by new sources of data, new technology and new entrants, including start-ups and hedge funds. Read More

Steve Cohen is trying to teach computers to think like top traders

Bloomberg

The founder of SAC and Point 72, who became rich by going with his gut on big trades, is now experimenting with another strategy: automating the decisions of his best money managers. Read More

In an uncertain world, macro and quant strategies find favor with investors

Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank surveyed 460 investors with $1.9 trillion under management to discover which hedge fund strategies are gaining momentum in 2017. Read More

The state of AI and data science in capital markets

LinkedIn

In this two-part overview, fintech analyst Roland Fejfar examines how data scientists can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of alternative datasets created from exhaust data. Read Part 1 » Read Part 2 »

Factor timing is hard

AQR

Nobody knows more about factor models than momentum pioneer Cliff Asness. In this typically blunt blog post, he writes that “factor timing is likely to be even harder than market timing”. Read More

Conference Reminder: DataDisrupt, March 29-30, NYC

DataDisrupt

Join Quandl CEO Tammer Kamel at DataDisrupt, a two-day event dedicated to the data analytics ecosystem in financial services. Read More

The big data scramble in markets still relies on people

Financial Times

We are at the dawn of an intriguing new era in sourcing, harmonizing and analyzing a large collection of unconventional, market-relevant information. But according to David Hand, “technology is advancing faster than people are learning.” Read More

How a $26 billion hedge fund lures the beautiful minds

Bloomberg Technology

Competition to find the best and brightest in data science continues. Citadel is running 18 “datathons” across the US and the UK with a top prize of $100K, while WorldQuant offers algo designers the right to keep their IP. Read More

Goldman Sachs’ lessons from the ‘quant quake’

Financial Times

Nearly a decade after a public unraveling, quantitative investing is once again the hottest trend in finance — but with a little more humility this time. Read More

Acadian strikes deal with Microsoft for Bing Predicts

Bloomberg

Quant firm Acadian Asset Management strikes a deal with Microsoft to become the first investment firm to use Bing search data and Bing Predicts to bolster economic predictions. Read More

Machine-learning start-up Kensho raises $50 million

Boston Business Journal

Our friends at Kensho, the machine-learning start-up, have raised $50 million in a Series B round led by S&P Global, with participation from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and others. Read More

Asset managers embrace fintech

Global Trading

Bill Stephenson, Global Head of Trading for Franklin Templeton Investments, examines the dramatic changes alternative data and disruptive technologies will bring to asset management. Read More

Conference Alert: DataDisrupt, March 29-30, NYC

DataDisrupt

Join Quandl CEO Tammer Kamel at DataDisrupt, a two-day event dedicated to the data analytics ecosystem in financial services. Read More

Icebergs, chameleons and vipers: A survey of FX execution

Quandl

In this Quandl original, we examine how newfound transparency in the FX market will change execution strategies. Read More

Top alternative data providers talk promise, challenges of alt data

YAHOO! Finance

A summary of Day 1 of the Newsweek/IBT data science in capital markets event, which took place in London on March 1. Read More

The race for autonomous cars is over. Silicon Valley lost.

Autoblog

Companies like Google and Apple are giving up on making cars but they’re not giving up on the auto industry. This is another area where Silicon Valley could play a dominant role in alternative data. Read More

Data is the new IP

Medium

A prominent venture capitalist poses an important question. In the data-driven economy, what is more important: the data or the algorithms? The answer will surprise you. Read More

Many (still) using Twitter to make trading decisions

Epoch Times

Lockheed Martin, Lululemon and the famous “hash crash” of 2013 —  a summary of the power (and perils) of computatively analyzing Twitter. Read More

Top hedge funds of 2016 share their bets for this year

Bloomberg

Top-ranked hedge fund managers share their bets for 2017 across event-driven, multistrategy and long-short equity styles. Read More

The insurance industry is the next consumer of alternative data

Financial Times

From insuring driverless cars to peer-to-peer risk pooling, insurance will be enormously different in the future, thanks in large part to the rise of the data economy. Read More

The challenge of sorting good data from bad data (video)

Newsweek

Our founder, Tammer Kamel, speaks with Newsweek senior writer and finance editor Leah McGrath Goodman about the challenge of sorting good data from bad data. Read More

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