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

1. Dataset of the week: U.K. Jobs Search Index.

2. Case study of the week: Google Trends anticipated rebound in same store sales for Texas Roadhouse (TXRH).

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

4. Events: Legal considerations of alternative data to be discussed in Hong Kong on May 12th. 

5. Pilot Fishing: A rival to Foursquare is launching in the next few months.

6. Articles of the week: 1) Hedge funds identify AI, Mobility, and Governance as key themes; 2) asset managers using sentiment analysis; 3) CFA Institute might include big data analysis to its exams.

7. Our product: “Lessons Learnt” launched.


1. Dataset of the week: U.K. Jobs Search Index.

Dataset Overview: Eagle Alpha’s analysts have spent over three years finding the best way to use online search data to predict change to the claimant count. The data is generated as a by-product of people’s normal day-to-day activity, as opposed to traditional survey methods which rely on individuals or firms responding to survey questions after the event. This can avoid problems associated with non-response or inaccurate responses.

Dataset Overview:

  • History: Since 2006.
  • Geography: U.K.
  • Delivery: CSV.

Use Cases:

  • Eagle Alpha’s UK Jobs Index has a correlation of 0.79 with the Claimant Count Change Index and testing shows an out-of-sample prediction improvement of 6% over a baseline (autoregressive) model of the index over the same period.
  • Eagle Alpha provides a list of the main principal components extracted from online search data to be used as inputs into economic models.
  • The data can also be used to construct an index of online search relating to employment-specific topics.

Our database now has 487 providers. Contact us for more information –enquiries@eaglealpha.com.


2. Case study of the week: Google Trends anticipated rebound in same store sales for Texas Roadhouse (TXRH).

On April 5th 2017, we published a research note highlighting Search Signal trends for Texas Roadhouse and how they showed signs of a rebound in same-store sales (SSS) in the March 2017 quarter.

Figure 1 below shows that Eagle Alpha’s Search Signal indicator captured same-store sales improvements for Texas Roadhouse that occurred throughout 2014 and 2015. Our indicator also pointed to the December 2016 slowdown. The company was expected to report SSS of 3.1%, but the actual figure came in at 1.2%.

However, both the one-month and three-month indexes rebounded since then. In our report, we concluded: “Company guidance is for SSS in the March quarter of 1%-2%. Based on the strong rebound in our indicator it is likely that SSS will show improvement beyond management guidance in the current quarter, or that June quarter guidance should improve.”

On May 2nd 2017, Texas Roadhouse reported SSS of 3.1% with CEO Kent Taylor commenting: “We are pleased with our top-line momentum and operating performance in the first quarter of 2017 with positive comparable restaurant sales and traffic growth.” The company expects continued growth for 2017 and plans to open 30 new restaurants. The stock has also responded positively since the Q1 announcement.

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

3. 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.


4. Events 

On May 12th, we are hosting an event in Hong Kong to discuss the legal considerations of alternative data. Our event partner is Bird & Bird.


5. Pilot Fishing: A rival to Foursquare is launching in the next few months.

The data vendor wants us to speak to firms that have licensed Foursquare. If your firm licenses Foursquare, please contact emmett.kilduff@eaglealpha.com.

6. Articles of the week

Hedge Funds Identify AI, Mobility and Data Governance as Key Themes During Indus Valley Forum.

Amid Big-Data Fads, One Firm Tries a New Approach.

CFA Institute mulls adding ‘big data’ to financial analyst exam.


7. 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. One example is presented below.

iOS Data Found to be Better Correlated with Company Revenues.

In the initial testing process of the predictive value of app data, we evaluated the relationship of the data with a company’s quarterly revenue. The specific app data tested included the number of daily active users, monthly active users, and total downloads. Companies tested included Dominos, Expedia, Fitbit, GrubHub, Netflix, Starbucks, Ticketmaster, Weight Watchers and Yelp.

The table below provides a summary of results which include the most correlated app data we have identified over the period of January 2014 to December 2016. In general, iOS data correlates better with company revenues compared to Android data.

Furthermore, the number of downloads have a stronger relationship with company revenues than the numbers of daily or monthly active users. Interestingly, US data outperformed worldwide data in the cases of Weight Watchers, Starbucks, Grubhub, Netflix and Dominos, while the opposite was observed for Yelp, Fitbit, Expedia and Ticketmaster.

Contact us if you would like to learn more.

Data beats opinion,

The Eagle Alpha Team

www.eaglealpha.com