Data beats opinion >>> your weekly update on the alternative data space

1. Bank of England using online search and micro linked data to nowcast the housing market.

2. HPQ: alternative data suggested revenue upside ahead of quarterly report.

3. Big data reshaping how analysts view China’s economy.

4. “The value of data is in the eyes of the beholder.”

5. Dataset of the week: [x] monitors store location visits and is even able to track within shopping malls.

1. Bank of England using online search and micro linked data to nowcast the housing market

The Bank of England is one of the first major institutions actively using alternative data sources in its work. Our whitepaper demonstrated how the Bank uses online search data and micro linked data to analyze the housing market. The test results showed the search term variable to be significant at the 1% level.

Furthermore, the Bank linked various micro sources together (e.g. online listings data and Land Registry’s Data) and evaluated the effect of buy-to-rent investors on the overall UK housing market. The Bank of England then used the above analysis to further investigate the mortgage-financed part of the housing market as half of all BTL transactions were supported. It then decided to take action and clamp down on BTL lending.

2. HPQ: alternative data suggested revenue upside ahead of quarterly report

On 15 Nov 2016, we published a note on HPQ using web crawled and shipping data. Our analysis pointed to likely revenue upside and positive pricing trends.

HP Pricing Trends Strong Across All Major Division in Q4 F2016

On 22 Nov 2016, the company beat revenue estimates by $600M. Roughly $500m of the upside came from the PC segment and $100m from printing and our note pointed to like upside from both these categories.

To discuss the report with our analysts email enquiries@eaglealpha.com.

3. Big data reshaping how analysts view China’s economy

Bloomberg’s Jeff Kearns discusses various alternative and big data sources such as information gathered by Alibaba and Baidu covering online searches, maps and online purchases. This type of high-frequency information is used to analyze different segments of China’s economy, especially consumer economy which is becoming more and more important.

View video.

4. “The value of data is in the eyes of the beholder”

Mike Simcock talks about “a massive explosion in data sources, many offering the prospect of more timely information and more impactful signals.” But Simcock argues that investors should use a ‘less is more’ type of approach when assessing new data sources and the only thing that matters is whether they add value. Mike Simcock is the CEO of ClearMacro, an asset allocation advisory firm.

5. Dataset of the week

Vendor Overview: [x] has beacons installed in class A shopping malls throughout the U.S. and is therefore able to monitor store location visits that other geo-location providers miss. Non-beacon based data collection (via apps) allows this provider to gather geo-location data 24×7.

Dataset Overview:

  • History: Since 2015.
  • Geography: US.
  • Panel: 15 million.
  • Delivery: API or CSV.

Use Cases:

  • Provides a now-casted indication of business activity.
  • Analyze traffic vs sales. This is important for stocks such as Macy’s, Sears, Nordstrom, JC Penney, Signet Jewelers, Coach, Gap Inc.
  • Track success of new store openings.
  • Analyze competitive landscape.

To learn more about this dataset email enquiries@eaglealpha.com.

Scheduled Events

  • New York – Deep dive into understanding the legal side of geo-location data.
  • New York – Data showcase of consumer transaction datasets.
  • New York – Discussion of legal and compliance considerations e.g. exclusivity, web crawling.
  • London – Data showcase of consumer transaction datasets.
  • Hong Kong – Discussion of legal and compliance considerations e.g. exclusivity, web crawling.

To register for an event email enquiries@eaglealpha.com.

Until next week,

Eagle Alpha.