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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.

The Plural of ‘Anecdote’ is not ‘Data’

CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST

A satellite photo of North and South Korea at night makes it appear as if North Korea does not exist. There are rumblings that satellite data is not holding up to its potential as a source of alpha, but economists are getting a lot of value from it in the form of macroeconomic indicators, especially in countries where government data is not reliable. Read More

a16z Gets in the Game

Business Wire

Quantopian announced its series C raise of $25 million, led by Andreessen Horowitz, bringing its total capital raised to almost $50 million. The round includes additional investment from Bessemer Venture Partners, Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and Spark Capital. It’s another vote of confidence for the crowd-sourced quant model. Read More

Foursquare Flexes Muscles with Snapchat Deal

Fast Company

Snapchat will now be able to tap into Foursquare’s treasure trove of 87 million places, thanks to a deal inked by the two companies this week. Benefits to Snapchat include more accurate mapping data to sell location-based advertisements. Foursquare gets to “continue to flex its muscle as a powerhouse for location intelligence.” Read More

The Bifurcation of Hedge Funds

The New York Times

The New York Times claims that “the future star of the hedge fund industry is not the next William A. Ackman, Carl C. Icahn or George Soros. Rather, it is a computer…” How much of this is hyperbole? More on the man vs. machine debate, with no clear winner, and perhaps even some backlash. Read More

What Quantitative Investors Can Learn From the Election

Dealbreaker

There has never been a president like Donald Trump.Therefore all of the methods we have of predicting how his actions will impact markets are probably wrong. Dealing with this ‘regime change’ will require that we embrace synthetic modeling, which paints the Trump presidency as an amalgam of different factors and then allows us to isolate each of those factors for analysis. Read More

Alternative Data Finds New Audience

Markets Media

Proving that we are truly in ‘the epoch of a nanosecond’: alternative data has already moved beyond the realm of quants to broader audiences, including long-only firms and traditional asset managers. We wonder when it will no longer be considered alternative. Tomorrow? Read More

Six Degrees of Quant: Kevin Bacon and the Erdos Number Mystery

Bloomberg Quint

Your Erdos number could soon end up on your resume. Like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, your Erdos number is measured by your distance, in people, to Paul Erdos through collaboration. Part inside baseball, part inside joke, the Erdos number nonetheless seems to have clout among the mathematically-minded. Read More

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