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

1. Alternative dataset of the week: Search Signals.

2. Research question for a Bespoke Project: How can alternative data be used to analyze US shopping center REITs?

3. Experts: Interview with Jakob Aungiers, Quant Developer at HSBC.

4. Events: 130 people attended our event in NYC to discuss the legal considerations of alternative data.

5. Articles of the week: State Street’s CEO highlights data analytics ‘arms race’, faced backlash for selling user data, AI will not replace the analyst.

6. Our product: “Lessons Learnt” launched.

1. Alternative dataset of the week: Search Signals.

Dataset Overview: Based on Eagle Alpha’s expertise in building macro indicators with Google Trends we decided to investigate Equity use cases. We examine the significance of search terms specific to each company using AdWords and build Google Trends Index with those terms.

Dataset Overview:

  • History: Since 2006.
  • Geography: Worldwide.
  • Delivery: JPG/PNG/SVG/PDF/CSV.

Use Cases:

  • Best used as a screening tool, or as a signal, on potential changes in important company metrics and so trigger action on fundamental research.
  • Lead time to change in revenue facilitates this reserch.

Related Tickers:


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2. Research question for a Bespoke Project: How can alternative data be used to analyze US shopping center REITs?

In order to answer this research question, we recommend tracking leasing trends and visitor traffic with the use of online search and geo-location datasets.

Contact us to receive a free bespoke project proposal.

3. Experts: Interview with Jakob Aungiers, Quant Developer at HSBC.

Jakob Aungiers heads up Quantitative Research Technology in the Global Investment Strategy team at HSBC Global Asset Management in London where he specializes in building disruptive technology products for tactical and strategic investment goals. Jakob is also an independent Artificial Intelligence/Software Development Consultant and Entrepreneur in using alternative data for investment insight. Prior to his position at HSBC, Jakob worked as a Quantitative Developer for the Data Insights Team at Schroders, using alternative data and machine learning to gain unique investment insights into global equities.

The below is an excerpt from the interview we held with Mr. Aungiers.

What types of alternative data have you worked with?

Credit card transactions, web scraping and document text analysis are all the “hot right now” trends for more traditional asset managers to dip their feet into the alternative data pool, and those are the ones I have found myself exploring in the last couple of years.

Whilst there is a lot of discussion going on around satellite image data, IoT (Internet of Things) sensor data and other exotic datasets, what I have personally found is that aside from a small number of advanced hedge funds, traditional asset managers are far from touching this data yet. Not because it doesn’t hold value, but because they do not yet have the knowledge or capacity to be able to find good value in such data.

The keyword here is yet. Eventually, the value knowledge of these more exotic datasets and a simple to use frameworks that help consume them will emerge and allow all asset managers to gain access to this data. Rather like Bloomberg did decades ago with traditional financial data.

What are examples of useful datasets that most asset managers have not heard of?

As mentioned above, IoT data is very much in its infancy right now and has a significant amount of untapped potential. I also think there are potential drivers for alternative data to common financial counterparts, which offer a more granular view in some dimension (be it time, accuracy, or segmentation).

An example of this is using alternative index data, combined with survey data from companies that will let you pose a question or assign a task to local people in a country for a fee (e.g. collecting weekly prices of a basket of products) to “nowcast” economic metrics such as GDP, RPI and others, allowing for a highly accurate prediction of said metrics on a monthly basis rather than waiting for the official quarterly number.

4. Events 

This week we hosted an event in NYC to discuss the legal considerations of alternative data. 130 people attended. We will host similar events in London and Hong Kong. A detailed synopsis of the 3 events will be made available to clients of our Thought Leadership package.

5. Articles of the week.

State Street CEO sees custody ‘arms race’. Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data.

AI Will Not Replace the Analyst.

6. Update on Eagle Alpha’s Offering

Clients have asked us to add a “Lessons Learnt” section to our Thought Leadership offering in order to benefit from insights we have gained from working with alternative data since 2012.

We launched this on Tuesday. So far we have published 4 lessons.

1) Isolating Organic Consumer Comments in Twitter Data.

2) Building Revenue Indicators for US Software Companies using Google Data.

3) iOS Data Found to be Better Correlated with Company Revenues.

4) Hidden Prices when Performing a Detailed Crawl.

Contact us if you would like to learn more.

Data beats opinion,

The Eagle Alpha Team