Alternative Data Newsletter #94 – November 15th, 2018

Important Developments In Altdata For The Buyside

  • Survey Results: UBS sponsored Element22’s survey, interesting findings include: 1) the firms who are most aggressively pursuing advanced analytics and alternative data strategies are investing 2-3% of annual revenue; 2) advanced analytics has seen high adoption, with 85% of firms using this capability at some level while 55% are using alternative data; 3) 50% of those surveyed are using alternative data for the purposes of alpha generation, while 30% are using such data for client acquisition and retention purposes.
  • Apple Weakness: after disappointing earnings call on November 1st Apple share price continues to be under pressure. There has been negative news flow from Apple’s supply chain and also from the sell side cutting iPhone unit estimates and revenue growth assumptions. Eagle Alpha published a note in late September and again in early October highlighting poor consumer acceptance of Apple’s new iPhones. These examples, using social media and online search data, highlight an example where alternative data can be used to get an early read on consumer demand trends at companies such as Apple.

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. Limited number of tickets left. To learn more and register visit our new website –
  • 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 raw data feed of tens of thousands of business events each across the United States. It uses a combination of AI and rule-based Natural Language Processing to extract unique insights from large volumes of written and spoken words.
  • Discretionary: this company provides audience insights through an intuitive analytics platform and covers the activity of over one billion people.
  • New: this vendor delivers data for the US pharma market. Analysts can use this data to predict the effects of a drug release.

Data Science Lab

  • Open sourcing this weekImbalanced-Learn – this package, part of the scikit-learn-contrib project, offers methods for dealing with the challenging problem of class-imbalanced datasets in the context of classification tasks. It offers a number of resampling techniques that can help, including 11 under-sampling and 5 over-sampling techniques, as well as ensemble classifier methods.
  • What we’re reading this week: Recent Neural Network Changes in Tesla’s Autopilot. This blog post discusses some preliminary analysis of the upgrades made to Tesla’s Autopilot algorithm recently. It estimates the network size, describes what types of image data is ingested, and how the encoder-decoder systems most likely work. It’s not official Tesla details, but it offers a technical glimpse into the architecture of a cutting-edge commercial application of artificial intelligence.

Legal & Compliance, Efficiency Improvements & Best Practice

  • LinkedIn vs hiQ: at our recent Data Forum event Peter Greene from Lowenstein Sandler mentioned that ‘it will be great if the LinkedIn vs hiQ case goes to the Supreme Court; if we can get some sense, even in a different context, of what it means to be public on the internet, that would be fantastic.”
  • Efficiency Improvements – Standardized Metadata: the output of this working group will be finalized and published this week. 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

  • Events Website: we launched a new website for our flagship “access & alpha” events – Details regarding schedules, speakers and vendors can be found in one place.

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 –
  • 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