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.

DE Shaw: Inside Manhattan’s ‘Silicon Valley’ hedge fund

Financial Times (subscription)

The hedge fund founded by former computer science professor David Shaw was initially a ramshackle start-up. Today it’s one of the industry’s biggest players, managing over $50bn of assets, and is a leader in the “quantamental” investing that’s helping the industry realise the benefits of big data and artificial intelligence. Read More

The health of a country’s economy is hiding in plain tweets

Bloomberg (subscription)

Inspired by a comment from former Fed Chair Janet Yellen that labor-market conditions might be worse than official statistics indicated, a Microsoft researcher began looking for better data. Analyzing tweets and web-search queries, he has been able to predict revisions in one of the world’s most critical indicators: the Labor Department’s report on nonfarm payrolls. Read More

Alternative data is helping to close the information gap in emerging markets

Outside Insight

Governments and businesses both require sound data on the economy and current state of the markets in order to make informed, context-driven decisions. In emerging markets such data can be hard to come by. Alternative data can be part of the solution. Read More

PanAgora portfolio manager says many firms have flawed approach to alt data

Business Insider (subscription)

Mike Chen, a portfolio manager at PanAgora Asset Management, said firms are struggling to find value in alternative data because of a flawed approach. Instead of trying out a variety of data feeds, firms should first develop a specific investment question they’d like to solve, he advises. Read More

How big data can help save the world

Scientific American
Recent coverage of the data industry has focused on users’ privacy fears and other issues of concern. A Los Alamos National Laboratory data scientist reminds us that alternative data can help solve some of the biggest global challenges, from stopping infectious diseases to monitoring the Colombian peace process. Read More »

Using a company’s own words to assess its risks


A researcher used machine learning to read through the annual reports of all U.S. public companies to find out which risks they identified as the most serious ones they face. The results were often surprising. Read More

McDonald’s bites on big data with $300 million acquisition


McDonald’s has embraced machine learning in a super-sized way. The fast-food giant has reached an agreement to acquire Dynamic Yield, a Tel Aviv-based startup that provides retailers with algorithmically driven “decision logic” technology.  Read More

What you don’t know about your health data will make you sick

Fast Company

You can’t opt out of a shadowy system that’s hungry to know everything about your health. Healthcare providers can legally sell data to a vast spread of companies, who can use it to make decisions on insurance pricing, highly targeted advertising, investments, and more. Read More

Why not replace corporate directors with algorithms?


Before stepping down as Tesla Chairman, Elon Musk said “Robots will be able to do everything better than us … I mean all of us.” Could an algorithm take his current board seat? There are pros and cons. One plus being that an AI wouldn’t go on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Read More

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