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

1. Dataset of the week: a mobile industry data provider.

2. Search data used to analyze the software vertical.

3. Data vendors fail to hide personal information according to hedge funds.

4. News articles of the week: credit card data, payment innovation in China. 

1. Dataset of the week: a mobile industry data provider.

Vendor Overview: This provider publishes monthly mobile industry reports and sells more frequently updated related data. The data is aggregated across tens of thousands of mobile apps, across hundreds of billions of data points globally.

Use Cases:

  • Track changes in the app usage rate of various mobile devices (iPhone models, Samsung models, etc.), which can be used as a proxy for market share and new device adoption rates.
  • Track which wireless carriers have high and low latency rates, which ones provide the best customer experience, and can estimate market shares of wireless carriers globally.

Our Data Directory has 454 providers. Contact us for more information –enquiries@eaglealpha.com.

2. Search data used to analyze the software vertical.

On 5 Jan 2017, we published a note titled “US Software: Weak Trends for MicroStrategy and Signs of Stability for Tableau Software” using Google Trends data.

The figure 1 below shows that our trends signal pointed to further weakness in revenue growth rates for Microstrategy. Our index would indicate that recent management comments about volatility and quarterly unevenness of revenue may come to fruition. Revenue growth rates would appear to be at risk in coming quarters.

Our Google Index for Tableau, on the other hand, is indicating early signs of stabilization. The figure 2 below shows that the initial decline of the 3m index below the 12m index was a lead indicator for slower trends 4 to 5 quarters later, so the movement over the last two quarters may be an action point for a change in company fundamentals in future quarters.

Contact us to learn about our “Search Signals” offering – enquiries@eaglealpha.com.

3. Data vendors fail to hide personal information according to hedge funds. 

Asset managers have been integrating alternative datasets in their processes but they should be highly attentive and avoid sources that contain personally identifiable information.

Matthew Granade, Point 72’s chief market intelligence officer, is cited in the FT’s recent article: “The vendors claim to strip out all the personal information, but we occasionally find phone numbers, zip codes and so on. It’s a big enough deal that we have a couple of full-time tech people wash the data ourselves.”

Robert Schoshinski, assistant director in the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, said that the availability of this information “raises a number of privacy issues, given the amount of data available and how you can cross-reference it.”

The FTC advises companies using big data analytics to consider the following questions:

  • How representative is the dataset? Underrepresentation and overrepresentation issues should be addressed.
  • Does the data model account for biases? Biases may arise at any stage of big data’s life cycle be it collection or analytics and companies should develop ways to overcome them.
  • How accurate are your predictions based on big data? Correlations are not always meaningful.
  • Does your reliance on big data raise ethical or fairness concerns? Predictive values of data models should be analyzed together with fairness considerations.

The alternative data market is projected to double in the next five years and vendors will have to make sure their data is of the highest standard and can’t be tied back to personally identifiable information.

4. News articles of the week: credit card data, payment innovation in China.

How Credit-Card Data Might Be Distorting Retail Stocks.

China UnionPay and JD Finance ‘shake hands’ in payment innovation.

Until next week,

Eagle Alpha.

www.eaglealpha.com