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 2018

Essential data feeds for artificial intelligence

Quandl Blog

In this post, we describe the top five data feeds most commonly requested by our AI/ML customers. Read More

MiFID II is live. Will the financial content industry adapt or ossify?

Institutional investor

A desire for more transparent and fairer markets drove the EU to implement MiFID II. The response from the sell-side has been both swift and predictable: a good old-fashioned price war. Read More

Europe’s new privacy law will change the web and more


GDPR has already spurred, or contributed to, changes in data-collection practices. The law’s emphasis on consent, control and clear explanations could also prompt shifts in corporate data-handling practices. Read More

Big data and the risks of insider trading

Bloomberg Law

Does it matter if a hedge fund “inadvertently” trades on material nonpublic information (“MNPI”)? What follows are best practices to prevent – or in the worst case, mitigate – liability for insider trading in connection with the use of big and alternative data. Read More

Sentieo raises $6M in funding


The round was led by Clocktower Ventures and Long Focus Capital, with participation from angel investors, including David Flaschen and Howard Lindzon. Read More

To understand big data, convert it to sound

Network World

The sonification of big data will help people better understand and analyze big data as well as detect anomalies in the data, say researchers at Virginia Tech. Read More

Quandl launches exclusive Tesla demographics data

Business Wire (Press Release)

Industry analysts are not convinced that Tesla will meet its Q1 target, but the degree by which they will miss is a subject of great debate. Quandl’s data feed can help investors determine Tesla’s progress ahead of analysts, estimates and production reports. Read More

Digital oil field could add $1 trillion to the world’s economy

Bloomberg Technology

An industry that only uses about one percent of the data it generates is trying to harness it to see where to pump more oil faster for less money. Read More

Authorized use of Facebook data can do a lot of good

Bloomberg View

You’ve probably read all about the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal. In this piece, Bloomberg opines on why we shouldn’t overreact. Read More

Numerai will give $1M in crypto tokens to Kaggle users


The hedge fund incentivizes its members by giving them digital tokens they can stake during algo tournaments. Winning algorithms are then selected based on how they perform on the live market and rewarded with more tokens. Read More

Proof that information pays


Researchers find that funds accessing one or more SEC filings in a month exhibit 1.5 percent higher annualized abnormal returns in the next month. Renaissance Technologies and BlackRock were among the top users of this data. Read More

Sentiment data is still thriving


Social media analytics company Dataminr has stealthily opened a Seattle office. The company says it has now raised more than $180M and employs close to 400 people worldwide. Read More

Exec Q&A: Petra Wikström, BNP Paribas

Traders Magazine

Petra Wikström of BNP Paribas shares her thoughts on the buy-side’s use of artificial intelligence, alternative data and trade cost analysis to generate alpha. Read More

M Science launches Mobile Supply Chain Data for wireless semiconductors

Business Wire (Press Release)

The new offering provides a comprehensive view of SKU-level sales volume, highlighting key trends for over 50 global smartphone component manufacturers. Read More

Will BlackRock’s algorithms beat the fund managers?

Financial Times (Subscription)

BlackRock hopes that SAE will not only become its own “quant” powerhouse but also help transform its wider business by incubating new techniques and data sources that will be spread across its asset management complex. Read More

Q&A: LegalShield’s Economic Indexes

Seeking Alpha

LegalShield data recently predicted the current slowdown in home sales. SA interviews James Rosseau about this dataset (available via Quandl). Read More

Quants warn over flaws in machine learning predictions

This piece brings together different perspectives on the status of machine learning and artificial intelligence in investment strategies. One key takeaway: The data that powers machine learning could be its Achilles heel. Read More

Hedge funds using AI just had their worst month ever


Eurekahedge reports that AI quants and CTAs both got hammered by the first equity correction in two years. Read More

Read the Backlash

Spurious correlations are kryptonite of hedge fund’s AI rush

Financial Times (Subscription)

One of the biggest risks of using AI for investment purposes is the potential for false correlations. Using machine learning to sniff out patterns in vast digital datasets is particularly vulnerable to overfitting. Read More

Baidu Apollo releases the world’s largest dataset for self-driving cars


Baidu has announced the release of ‘Apollo Scape’, billed as the world’s largest open-source dataset for autonomous driving technology. Read More

What gender diversity looks like at top hedge funds?

FundFire (Subscription)

On average, women hold 11.2% of all senior positions at hedge funds and 6% of roles on investment and portfolio management teams. Things are changing. But are they changing fast enough? Read More

Point72 is growing its Data Sourcing and Strategy team


If you’re a skilled data strategist and looking, take note. Read More

Why big pharma wants your health records

Business Insider

A fascinating piece on the power of health and medical data as well as the thorny issues of access and patient privacy. Read More

Kensho selling to S&P Global for a historic $550 million


That the biggest AI deal comes out of Wall Street (from a 158-year institution no less) and not Silicon Valley, shows just how much the future of finance might rely on bots over brokers. Read More

Point 72 wants to bridge quants and money managers

Bloomberg Markets

Founder Steve Cohen has named Kirk McKeown director of proprietary research to oversee three different groups: Aperio, Data Sourcing and Strategy, and Point of the Spear. Read More

Mark Ainsworth discusses Schroders’ alternative data strategy (Subscription)

Key takeaway: The insights alternative data generates are meant to empower analysts — not replace them. Read More

Blackstone revs up its data exhaust

FundFire (Subscription)

Blackstone plans to mine its own portfolio companies — which includes Thomson Reuters Corp’s F&R division — for data, both for investments and third-party market value. Read More

How to turn data exhaust into a competitive edge


At Quandl, we love external validation. Wharton confirms: “Don’t let your IoT data exhaust go to waste. It just might contain the insights to fuel competitive advantage.” Read More

Location data, location data, location data

The Wall Street Journal (Subscription)

Location data is a high-value target for both hackers and investment professionals. WSJ discusses the importance of data decentralization and the different measures needed to prevent a massive breach. Read More

The Milken Institute reports on the fintech industry

Crowdfund Insider

The incessant pace of innovation in the financial services space driven by technological advancements has resulted in multiple points of friction between “new finance” and “old regulation.” Read More

Viking joins other “Tiger Cubs”

Bloomberg Markets

The $25 billion shop has staffed a quant team, following the “paradigm shift” in the industry. Read More

Navigating the hurdles of alternative data

WatersTechnology (Subscription)

Max Bowie looks at the practical challenges of dealing with alternative data, and how firms are using data science to speed up the process and start generating alpha faster. Read More

Do all investors benefit from alternative data?


Debunking the myth that the advantages of new data get arbitraged away, and supporting the adage: adapt or die. Read More

10 tips to avoid an alternative data hangover


RavenPack’s CEO Armando Gonzalez came up with 10 important questions financial institutions should ask when choosing an alternative data provider. Read More

7 takeaways from Warren Buffett’s letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders


See how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affected Berkshire’s book value. Read More

Following breach, Equifax unveils Analytics Dataset


The product offers borrower-level data and includes credit risk scores, debt levels and delinquency status. The key question: Is it whitewashed beyond recognition? Read More

Volatility 101

FT Alphaville

Robin Wiggleworth’s erudite and well-researched history of volatility, including a lengthy discussion of Vix’s evolution. Read More

Free webinar: Unlocking the Value of FX Transaction Data (03/06 | 12:00pm ET)


FX professionals are adopting volume data now that it’s been proven to confirm price. Quandl CDO Abraham Thomas describes a reversion strategy using executed trade data from CLS. Join us at this webinar. Register Now »

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