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.

Superstition ain’t the way

The Economist

For a long time, China’s officially-reported data was so unreliable that an index based on alternative sources, including electricity and rail use, became the gold standard. Now it appears that even the index is limited. Analysts are turning to ever-more alternative sources, from satellite images of city lights to Baidu’s search history, for what they hope is a clearer look. Read More

Low-hanging fruit from tweet sentiment investing plucked: James Saft


The bloom is off the rose, so to speak, for sentiment data from Twitter. As with so many data sources before, the alpha is gone; the edge is diffused. What will sentiment analysts and academics turn to next? Read More

Wall Street’s Next Frontier Is Hacking Into Emotions of Traders


As it turns out, exhaust data is not the final frontier. Humanyze and MIT’s Andrew Lo are experimenting with monitoring the emotional state of bank employees to drive performance. Emotional surveillance raises all kinds of privacy issues, of course, but it might also prevent $100 million lossess from bad trades. Bloomberg investigates. Read More

Five lessons learned about data exhaust

Thomson Reuters

For quants, data exhaust – the mere byproduct of doing business – is ripe with alpha potential. But this goldmine doesn’t come without its challenges. Beware limited history, structure problems, and other pitfalls, as described in this article. Read More

Unlocking the Data Treasure Chest

Engineering News Record

The explosion of data is rampant in every industry and construction is no exception. “In the next five years, the industry is going to be transformed through data. It’s an unprecedented, perfect storm of cloud, mobility and an incredible amount of collectors and data science converging together.” In real-time we can see on a map where construction is booming and we bet this will get investors excited. Read More

Companies are making money from our personal data – but at what cost?

The Guardian

Lots of data comes with lots of responsibility. Powerful companies like Google and Amazon view data as an asset and with so much of it in the world, ethics come in to play. Companies commoditize and monetize data that could not exist without the public, but does the public benefit at all in return? Read More

Looking for an Edge on China Stocks? Try Weibo


Weibo, China’s premier microblogging platform, has over 125 million users. Yes, investors can scrape data from Chinese social media sites, but beware: millions of posts on these sites may have been constructed to intentionally mislead and distract the public, making analysis all the more difficult. Read More

No Sailors Needed: Robot Sailboats Scour the Oceans for Data

The New York Times

In last week’s newsletter, we wondered whether data from the AgTech space was ready to be pledged into the alternative data space. We ask the same question this week about data from saildrones. You heard that right – saildrones – unmanned robot sailboats that gather data from the ocean for oil and gas production, weather points, and commercial fishing. Read More

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