Alternative Data Newsletter #93 – November 8th, 2018

Important Developments In Altdata For The Buyside

  • (Crowd) Funding: we are seeing more buyside firms invest in vendors. Some vendors are also interested in crowdfunding from buyside firms. If either is of potential interest to your fund, please contact our CEO –
  • ESG: we are seeing accelerating interest in ESG datasets from fundamental managers who don’t have a direct ESG mandate. These datasets can be used at the screening stage in order to highlight high risk companies. They also enable analysts to dive deeper into potential issues around a single company. Some discretionary long/short are using these to find short ideas. This can include everything from employee turnover, audit, governance, social media and NLP to assess audit/earnings statements.
  • Asia: interest in alternative data is increasing in this region but how much do people know about the local nuances and compliance aspects? This is something we have focused on within our Data Forum and Data Sourcing solutions. We recently surveyed 21 vendors in China across various alt data categories – 13 of them have non-China clients but note 8 have China clients only. We are now doing dedicated Data Sourcing calls with clients in relation to China data.

Events You Should Attend

  • NYC Conference: our next “access and alpha” conference will be held in NYC on November 29th. JPMorgan is the platinum sponsor and the keynote speaker is Vasant Dhar. To learn more and register contact
  • C-Suite Webinar: join a webinar on November 14th that is entitled “Getting your organization ready for the data deluge – a webinar for senior management of buyside firms”. To register contact
  • Luxury Goods Webinar: on November 13th, Eagle Alpha will bring a number of data vendors together for a webinar on how alternative data can help analyse luxury goods companies and trends in the wider luxury goods sector. For more information contact
  • Roadshows: a social media data vendor is meeting funds in NYC on November 27th & 28th. This vendor captures the social media actions of more than 2 billion consumers and parses them across 700+ metrics into its global taxonomy of over 475,000 brands, publishers, TV shows, influencers, and celebrities going back to January 2013. For more information contact

What Datasets Are Getting Traction?

  • Quant: this vendor provides a live database of global marine cargo trade activity between 7,000+ ports, including cargo details and trade indices for monitoring macro and micro performances.
  • Discretionary: this company provides European consumer transaction dataset with coverage in Europe and South America going back to January 2016.
  • New: a China ESG data provider. This company is a leading consultancy providing professional services in green finance and responsible investment in China.

Data Science Lab

  • Open sourcing this weekBERT (Bidirectional Embedding Representations from Transformers) – this language representation model conditions based on left and right context to achieve state-of-the-art results on eleven NLP tasks. Google open-sourced a Github with this algorithm and pre-trained models. Colab notebook is also available here.
  • What we’re reading this weekHorizon – Facebook’s Open Source Applied Reinforcement Learning Platform. This publication by Facebook walks through some real-world examples of using Horizon, their open-source reinforcement learning platform, in live environments as opposed to simulations. Examples include a system to optimize the frequency and topic of notifications sent to Facebook users at an individual level. This type of live reinforcement learning is applicable to the financial vertical’s many live environments.

Legal & Compliance, Efficiency Improvements & Best Practice

  • Legal & Compliance – DDQ: the first draft of the standardized DDQ document to be presented to the Data Forum members next week.
  • Efficiency Improvements – Standardized Metadata: the output of this working group will be finalized and published on November 14th. To learn more contact
  • Best Practice – Survey: in November we are surveying clients regarding compensation packages for the different roles associated with alternative data. To learn more contact

Updates To Our Solutions

  • Data Sourcing: we implemented several updates to improve the functionality and user experience of our platform:
    1. Search: we overhauled the search engine to facilitate easier sourcing of new interesting datasets. Clients can search by keywords and the search engine will search for it in a datasets title, summary, and description. We have also added acronyms and synonyms to help search for datasets that are purposely misspelled by vendors.
    2. Data diagnostic reports: interactive reports on the data quality and coverage of vendors’ data. The underlying code used to create the report is also available.
    3. Dataset comparison: easily compare up to four dataset profiles and view their information on one page.
  • Data Analytics: we leveraged alternative data to highlight the weaker update of the new iPhones. Our Data Analytics team used online search and social media data to correctly predict this trend. If you would like to learn more about Eagle Alpha’s Data Analytics offering or our new Eagle Edge platform, please contact

Updates For Alternative Data Vendors

  • Increase revenue: we are launching several new features to help alternative data vendors succeed. To learn more email our CEO –
  • to gain unique marketing exposure contact us to schedule an interview in NYC on November 26th. Email:
  • DDQs: we have started a working group to standardize dataset due diligence questionnaires. If your firm would like to participate email
  • 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. To learn more contact
  • Dashboards: to help you access traditional fundamental investors we are building customized dashboards on top of alternative datasets. Contact us to learn more at
  • Funding: if your firm is seeking to raise capital contact us – we can help. Email:

Notable News in the Alternative Data Space