Alternative Data Newsletter #162 – April 3rd, 2020

Key Highlights

  • COVID-19 Conference: we hosted the world’s first COVID-19 conference focused on alternative data on March 31st. Thank you to all our 450 + registered attendees, 35+ speakers, sponsors and media partners. With only 10 days’ notice, we brought together the best minds in the industry to share their insights in effectively tracking the impact and recovery of the coronavirus. We are grateful to all for their contributions at such short notice. Some of the key takeaways are presented below. Reach out to read our white paper on COVID-19 to find out more –
    • The crisis will change ESG investing as we know it. The demand for more responsible investing options will grow dramatically as the crisis brings attention to stakeholders beyond shareholders.
    • Given the COVID-19 pandemic, real-time insights into economic, business and consumer activity are needed by central banks, treasury departments, ministries of finance and munis. The Fed, ECB and Bank of England all use alternative data.
    • There have been different phases in terms of the type of data that have been critical to investors during the crisis. Initially the focus has been on the virus spread, air travel and the impact on the China consumer. This evolved into global cyclicals, the energy sector and now macro and credit default.
  • APAC Conference: we hosted our APAC data conference on April 2nd. Some of the main topics discussed are presented below. Reach out to discuss takeaways –
    • The alternative data market has matured over the last 12 months. Sellers are more sophisticated and buyers are more discerning.
    • Since December, the majority of inbound client requests for data have been related to quantifying the economic impact of COVID-19.
    • ESG datasets, with emphasis on granular time series which can be used to create a bespoke signal.
    • Legal & compliance: The increased emphasis globally on protecting consumer data is a short term headwind. Tailwind: We believe that exhaust data from corporations will be a key driver of new data looking forward in 2020 and beyond.
  • DeepFin Workshop: Eagle Alpha, in collaboration with J.P. Morgan, hosted a DeepFin workshop on Data Quality for the APAC region on Friday. This 3 hour workshop featured a deep dive into seven Eagle Eye data quality reports that Eagle Alpha’s Data Science team has produced recently.
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Quality Testing

Reports discussed at the DeepFin workshop included highly relevant reviews of what data buyers should be looking for when assessing geolocation, employment, and consumer transaction datasets, categories seeing significant and urgent interest given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eagle Alpha offers a number of avenues for consuming these data quality reports, including as a component of our Data Sourcing solution, as well as standalone JupyterHub access to the feed of reports we produce as they are released.


The latest Alpha Capture sheet is now live and the majority of ideas have a significant focus on the impact of COVID-19 on companies, sectors and the economy. Examples of ideas as follows:

  • App & Web Traffic Data: What companies are gaining/losing from increasing/decreasing usage. The general theme is that food & grocery delivery, business, education, video games and news apps are gaining most.
  • Geo-location/Satellite: Panic buying has definitely set in with some retailers benefiting in the short-term (Walmart/Costco). This type of data has also given insight into who is increasing production -> 3M, Johnson & Johnson and Regeneron.


This vendor provides data from thousands of job boards in the UK, updated daily, with 800k – 1 million new postings added each month. These are deduplicated to identify unique postings, and with their full offering users can use keywords to search by job title, occupation (4-digit SOC), employer, location, and soft and hard skills requested. Our Data Sourcing clients can view the full profile here.

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COVID-19 Dashboard – Eagle Alpha launched the COVID-19 dashboards at our conference on March 31st. Incorporating a broad array of alternative datasets, these dashboards will enable users track how the consumer, businesses and the broader economy are being impacted by COVID-19 in near real-time.

Legal & Compliance

Installation of root certificate privileges is restricted by both Google and Apple, given the security risks they create. Sensor Tower’s apps were highlighted to bypass the root restrictions by prompting users to install a certificate through an external website after an app is downloaded. Following Avast’s Jumpshot controversy, this is another example of vendors collecting user data without properly notifying consumers.

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Alpha Workshops

  • April 23rd: Workshop on IoT Data.
  • May 14th: Workshop on traditional datasets.

Upcoming Events

Eagle Alpha’s Alternative Data Conferences: