Alternative Data Newsletter #88 – October 5th, 2018

Important Developments In Altdata For The Buyside

  • Mapping: this continues to be a major pain point of the industry. Two alternative data vendors offer solutions and an alternative data intermediary announced a solution last week. It would be great if this problem could be solved – if you are interested in solving this problem contact our CEO to discuss. Email:
  • Conversion & ROI: given the increasing volume of datasets (850 in our database) our buyside clients are focused on increasing conversions from trial to license – these are typically in the range of 5%-15%. And increasingly data teams are coming under pressure to deliver high ROI. This will be discussed at our event in London next week.
  • Apple weakness: alternative data points to a lack of consumer interest for new iPhones. Eagle Alpha’s Data Analytics team published two notes in quick succession highlighting this trend. Contact us to learn more.
  • China alternative data: where is the data flowing? Through our event in Hong Kong last month and significant network of providers in China, we have gained some valuable insights into how the buy side is working with Data in China. Our Data Sourcing clients are keen to understand what is possible.

Events You Should Attend

  • Events: final call for complimentary tickets to our “access and alpha” event in London on October 12th where you can meet with 25 alternative data vendors.  Panelists include APG, Blueshift, Jupiter, Cantab and Schroders. Register your interest:
  • Meetings: HR best practices discussed at a meeting in New York today. The meeting recap will be published and available to Data Forum clients.
  • Roadshows: an ESG data provider will be doing a roadshow in London on October 9th – 11th. To book a meeting contact us.

What Datasets Are Getting Traction?

  • Dataset in demand (quants): this data vendor leverages filings with the IRS and Department of Labor that pertain to employee benefit plans. The vendor tracks every company operating in the U.S., accounting for over 95% of U.S. employment.
  • Dataset in demand (discretionary): a Telecoms ID  (telephone numbers, device IDs, number portability, number management) solutions service provider, vendor and supplier specialized in building solutions in over 40 countries.
  • New alternative dataset: a technology firm with proprietary data on commodity trade statistics at a port, country and region basis.

Data Science Lab

  • Open sourcing this week: Google created this modified Jupyter notebook environment with documentation of common machine learning methods using some of Google’s open-sourced ML libraries including Tensorflow. The Colaboratory notebooks run using Google’s Cloud GPU computing system. The system is built for sharing and, of course, collaborating amongst a group on a notebook in ways similar to Google Docs.
  • What we are reading this week: how to Use t-SNE Effectively – this interactive demonstration from the Distill team walks through the bizarre world of t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding, a popular method for clustering and dimension-reducing complex datasets.

Legal & Compliance Developments

  • Developments in U.S. Data Privacy Policy: The implementation of GDPR, and the California passage of data privacy legislation, has made data regulation in the U.S. practically inevitable. Our full report is available to Data Forum members.
  • Standardized DDQ: our next working group will work on the standardization DDQs. It will involve buyside firms, alternative data vendors and law firm Lowenstein Sandler. Contact us to join the working group.
  • Standardized Trial Agreement: in early September we published the first standardized trial agreement for the alternative data space. It involved comments from 12 buyside firms and 4 vendors of alternative data. Get in touch to obtain a copy.

Best Practices Your Firm Should Be Thinking About

  • HR Best Practices: we have teamed up with recuitment firm Options Group to produce a white paper that outlines HR best practices. Click here to read it.
  • Benchmarking: increasingly clients ask us how their setup compares with their peers. Contact us to discuss this.

How Experienced Firms Are Making Efficiency Improvements

  • Standardized Metadata: we have formed a working group to standardize the metadata that describe alternative datasets. Contact us to join the working group.
  • Sharing Groundtruth Data: two clients asked us to create an initial working group to explore the concept of sharing esoteric groundtruth data that is not available from traditional sources.

Updates To Our Solutions:

  • to gain unique marketing exposure contact us to schedule an interview. Email:
  • Data Forum: following feedback from clients we redesigned the Data Forum product offering along four components (legal & compliance, efficiency improvements, best practices and industry developments).
  • Eagle Edge: our platform enables fundamental analysts to work with alternative data without the need for additional data engineering and data science. Contact us for a demo of Eagle Edge.

Update For Alternative Data Vendors

  • to gain unique marketing exposure contact us to schedule an interview. Email:
  • DDQs: we have started a working group to standardize dataset due diligence questionnaires. If your firm would like to participate email
  • Events: our events are exclusively for the buyside and vendors. For each event we invite 25 vendors to present (elevator pitch, exhibit and 1-on-1s) to the buyside. Apply to present at our New York event on November 29th 2018.
  • Trial agreement: we worked with buyside firms and vendors to produce a standardized trial agreement. Vendors can obtain this for free if they have a full profile (including sample data) on our database.
  • Dashboards: to help you access traditional fundamental investors we are building customized dashboards on top of alternative datasets. Contact us to learn more.

Notable News in the Alternative Data Space

Contact us –