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

1. Dataset of the week: China auto industry data provider.

2. Case study: Search data correctly pointed to Burberry regaining momentum.

3. Case study: Eagle Alpha’s data partner predicted China’s trade balance. 

4. Innovators: NN IP benefits from sentiment analysis.

5. News articles of the week: Open source intelligence in use, the new gold rush?

6. Update on Eagle Alpha’s offering: Bespoke Projects.

1. Dataset of the week: China auto industry data provider.

Vendor Overview: With the largest market share in the autos segment in China, this provider’s key data products take 60% market share, which reaches 80% market share in JV automakers. Among the 40+ manufacturers served by this vendor, 70% are using more than 3 of their data products. A unique panel consisting of over 1,300 contributing co-operating Chinese dealerships has been assembled.

Dataset Description:

  • Transaction Price: Average transaction price of automobiles at a model, sub-model & version level (dealership sourced). National/ city level breakdown.
  • Rebate: Manufacturer promotion data, includes a breakdown of all promotional activity by OEM’s (dealership sourced).
  • Showroom Indicators: (1) Inventory Indicator, (2) Order Indicator, (3) Customer Intention Indicator.
  • Volume: CPCA volume data, adjusted using dealership data to provide sales volume mix at a version level. (Imported Models NOT Included).

Dataset Overview:

  • History: Since 2012.
  • Geography: China.
  • Delivery: API or CSV.

Alpha Use Cases:

  • Predict revenue for domestic Chinese manufacturers (e.g. 2333:HK) and revenues generated by foreign manufacturers in mainland China.
  • Track discounting and promotional activity of OEM’s on a monthly basis.
  • Track inventory levels and average transaction price by brand (Sourced from dealership panel).

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2. Case study: search data correctly pointed to Burberry regaining momentum.

On 10 Jan 2017, we published a report titled “Luxury Goods: Eagle Alpha Trends Point to Burberry Regaining Momentum.”

The figure 1 below shows our Search Signal indicator for Burberry constructed using Google Trends data. A strong downtrend since early 2014 to the middle of 2016 can be observed and it subsequently resulted in the decline of Burberry’s same store sales (SSS). The indicator is still in negative territory, but it has clearly turned upward and the positive momentum in the 3-month index is particularly noteworthy.

Burberry posted positive same-store sales in September and further gains can be forthcoming according to recent trends. We noted that the positive turn of our Search Signal indicator is coincident with management’s new strategic goals for the company.

On 18 January 2017, Burberry gave a trading update for Q3 reporting upside in sales. With regards to SSS, the metric we use for Search Signals, the company reported comps of 3% while analysts had been expecting SSS of negative 2%. Burberry CEO commented that “this third quarter improvement reflects early progress from our plans to drive Burberry’s performance for the long term.”

The Q3 trading update would affirm that the Search Signal indicator for Burberry was very effective in picking up the directionality of quarterly SSS.

Contact us to learn about our “Search Signals” offering –

3. Case study: Eagle Alpha’s data partner predicted China’s trade balance. 

Eagle Alpha’s trade data partner measures recent trade and industrial production indicators of each economy taking into account more than 25,000 times series and employing big data and predictive analytics techniques. Thus, it is possible to forecast trade balance and industrial production statistics and gain insights into global commodity trends.

Considering China’s trade balance, figure 1 below shows monthly values from February 2014 onwards. Red dots show forecasts made by our data partner while orange dashes indicate street estimates.

Last week, it was reported that China’s trade remained sluggish in December 2016 with exports decreasing 6.1% YoY. Imports, on the other hand, increased by 3.1% YoY vs. 6.7% YoY in November 2016.

In the case of China’s overall trade balance, Eagle Alpha’s trade data partner’s forecast of $41.5 billion for December 2016 was much closer to the official number of $40.8 billion when we compare to the consensus estimate of $47.5 billion.

Contact us to learn more about this data provider –

4. Innovators: NN IP benefits from sentiment analysis.

NN Investment Partners, asset management division of NN Group N.V. with AUM of approximately $224 billion as of September 2016, pointed out the gains it achieved by using online news and sentiment analysis in its investment process.

In a recent interview with Markets Media, NN IP’s senior portfolio manager Mark Robertson discussed how the company employed digital news by partnering with MarketPsych, a firm specializing in applying behavioral economics and producing sentiment data. Mr. Robertson said: “We found it had predictive value. It does more than just give positive or negative signals. Rather than just saying whether an earnings report met analyst expectations for example, the data analyses the proximity of the word “higher” to “earnings” to indicate sentiment.”

Discussing NN IP’s results of using sentiment data, Mr. Robertson stated that it ‘makes a meaningful contribution of between 10% to 15% in our investment scorecards.” In 2016, the company was particularly successful in applying sentiment analysis when investing in financials and utilities.

5. News articles of the week: Open source intelligence in use, the new gold rush?

Banco Espirito Santo: chronicle of a death foretold.

The New Gold Rush? Wall Street Wants your Data.

6. Update on Eagle Alpha’s offering: Bespoke Projects.

Eagle Alpha Bespoke Projects is for tough research questions which require additional time and expertise to deliver answers. Whether it is locating the right dataset or finding the right answer in a dataset, Eagle Alpha can apply its expertise to find the information you need.

Eagle Alpha can also design customized web crawling programs, develop online search indices, and provide a topical analysis of social media commentary about brands and products. Data ingestion, technical training and assistance in hiring talent are all services that are offered through Eagle Alpha Bespoke Projects. Contact us about your needs today at

Until next week,

Eagle Alpha.