Alternative Data News. 25, September 2019

The AltDataNewsletter by CloudQuant

Finding sources and uses for alternative data can be difficult. At CloudQuant we regularly read and search the internet for new sources of data that can be used in our mission to find alpha signals and build quantitative trading strategies. We recognize that we are technology and data junkies so we wrote our own crawler that specifically seeks out web pages, posts, and news articles that give us a snapshot of what is going on in the world of Alt Data. The following is a collection of articles that we think you will find interesting from the past week.

Nasdaq hires hedge fund alternative data veteran for analytics firm Quandl

US exchange group Nasdaq has appointed alternative data veteran, Evan Reich, as head of data strategy and sourcing at its recently acquired analytics firm Quandl.

Nasdaq acquired Toronto-based Quandl late last year to expand its capabilities in the alternative data space, combining the firm with its Analytics Hub to become part of the Global information Services division.

In the role, Reich will lead Quandl’s data strategy and sourcing team to find new alternative data sources relevant to clients. He joins Quandl with a decade of experience mainly in the alternative data industry, most recently at $18 billion multi-strategy hedge fund BlueMountain Capital.

At BlueMountain, Reich managed the alternative data, market and reference data for quant and fundamental groups across all asset classes globally. He also managed the firm’s relationships with data vendors and oversaw data engineering.

2019-09-20 13:00:31+01:00 Read the full story…
2019-09-19 13:00:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 9.2766, Raw Interest Score: 3.0124,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1076, Negative Sentiment 0.0538

CloudQuant Thoughts… Bloomberg and S&P’s expansion and Nasdaq’s purchase of Quandl (plus this hire) confirm the importance of Alternative Data to the modern trader. With modern Cloud Storage it is fairly easy to make large alternative data-sets available, the value add comes from finding those that still have Alpha!

Robeco launches sustainable enhanced index fund

Robeco has launched the Robeco QI Emerging Markets Sustainable Enhanced Index Equities with a strategy that aims for a 20 per cent higher score on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria than the benchmark (MSCI Emerging Markets Index).

It also aims to reduce the environmental footprint for greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste generation and energy consumption by 20 per cent compared to the benchmark, while maintaining the ability to provide alpha in emerging markets. The strategy uses an extensive values-based exclusion list and includes voting and engageme…
2019-09-24 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 6.2899, Raw Interest Score: 2.7918,
Positive Sentiment: 0.6407, Negative Sentiment 0.0915

CloudQuant Thoughts… ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is rapidly coming to the fore as a new key driver of multi-day stock movement. We have made available some ESG data by G&S Quotient in our Alternative Dataset Library. With this, and all future CloudQuant sponsored datasets we make available, we will confirm white paper results and make available Python code to demonstrate performance that can then be run on our CloudQuant Backtester.

Hedge fund redemptions continue in August, but less widespread

Investors redeemed an estimated USD6.51 billion from the global hedge funds business in August 2019, bringing year-to-date (YTD) flows to a negative USD63.61 billion, according to the August 2019 eVestment Hedge Fund Asset Flows Report.

Performance also reduced assets as total industry AUM declined to USD3.259 trillion last month.

The majority of primary strategies eVestment tracks actually saw asset inflows, but large outflows among Macro he…
2019-09-25 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 6.0010, Raw Interest Score: 2.9488,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1552, Negative Sentiment 0.1552

CloudQuant Thoughts… Not many investment managers have managed to beat SPY over the last few years. As a result Passive Investing (personally managing a small number of ETF positions) and Factor Investing (big, traditional, persistent, seasonal market drivers) are becoming incredibly popular, and are killing the Hedge Fund industry in the process. However, we believe there is still a role for professionals investors when mixing Passive/Factor Investing with Alternative Data.

Goldman Sachs’ massive quant business now rivals AQR and Two Sigma. We talked to the bank’s top quant about asset growth, finding data sources, and why critics of computerized trading are wrong. (Paywall)

Goldman Sachs’ Quantitative Investing Strategies group is one of the Wall Street bank’s biggest and fast-growing units.

The unit, known as QIS, has nearly doubled its assets under management in 2 1/2 years to almost $180 billion. That makes it bigger than most of the quant hedge funds.

That success will help Goldman seize on one of the few secular growth opportunities it has right now: a surge in demand for alternatives investing.

2019-09-18 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.6721, Raw Interest Score: 2.5423,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1439, Negative Sentiment 0.1919

CloudQuant Thoughts… “a surge in demand for alternatives investing”. Goldman jumps into third place as if to confirm, to any lingering doubters, the influence of Alternative Data Investing.

Machine Learning Job Interviews in Finance: 5 Tips

If you want to work for hedge fund Brevan Howard’s machine learning team, you can expect to encounter Sebastien Guglietta, Brevan’s co-head of “computational intelligence systematic strategies.” Guglietta joined Brevan from Comac Capital, where he spent 18 years as a prop-trading portfolio manager and senior strategist. These days, he’s all about applying “computational intelligence” (i.e., machine learning) to systematic trading, running a team in London that appears to comprise himself and at least another three people.

Guglietta clearly doesn’t hire much, but speaking at last week’s AI and Data Science in Trading conference in London, he gave a few pointers on what to say if you ever find yourself in front of him. In turn, these tips can apply to anyone interviewing for a machine-learning gig in finance IT, whether for a hedge fund, bank, or some other institution.
2019-09-24 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.0546, Raw Interest Score: 2.2714,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0863, Negative Sentiment 0.0863

Alternative-data player Thasos just laid off the majority of its staff and its CEO resigned. It might be a sign of tough times to come for a market set to grow to $7 billion.

Thasos Group seemed to be doing everything right. Part of the booming $7 billion alternative-data industry, the company collects location data from cellphones to help hedge funds make money.

Founded in 2011, Thasos was worth $42 million, had ties to MIT, and boasted a blue-chip CEO whose prior company Sense Networks was once named the “The Next Google” by Newsweek. Thasos was also part of Bloomberg’s newly launched alternative-data marketplace, meaning it had a stamp of approval from the data juggernaut.

But Thasos struggled to make money selling to its main financial services to clients and, in August, was forced to fire two-thirds of its staff, sources told Business Insider. Its CEO and cofounder, Greg Skibiski, also stepped down.

Thasos went from roughly 40 people at the beginning of August to less than a dozen in just weeks. Skibiski chose to step down and transition into a “non-executive chairman” role, a Thasos spokesperson told Business Insider, but he will still be involved in “managing the day-to-day operations of the firm.” Skibiski even tried to pivot to selling to real-estate firms as a last-ditch play for more sales. The decision also frustrated employees, according to a source familiar with the matter, as they internally lacked the expertise to dive into the new field.

2019-09-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.9333, Raw Interest Score: 2.1727,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0969, Negative Sentiment 0.1661

Prophix Launches AI-powered Virtual Financial Analyst

According to a recent press release, “Prophix Software, a global leader in mid-market Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software, today announced the latest release of Prophix featuring the industry’s first Virtual Financial Analyst. Prophix’ next-gen Virtual Financial Analyst ushers in a new era of financial planning and analysis by improving insights, reducing risk, and driving efficiency, dramatically advancing Prophix’ continued mission …
2019-09-25 07:10:21+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.8082, Raw Interest Score: 2.3821,
Positive Sentiment: 0.4375, Negative Sentiment 0.1945

Top 10 AI & Analytics Research Centres In Bengaluru

In today’s world, enterprises and academia are striving to harness the potential of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. One of the vehicles for achieving this is setting up centres of excellence by enterprises to facilitate innovation.

In this endeavour, Bengaluru is helping these tech giants by being one of the biggest sources of talent in this field. In this article, we are listing down the top ten AI resea…
2019-09-25 10:30:39+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.6237, Raw Interest Score: 2.7245,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2631, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

Bloomberg Launches Its Own Equity Indexes: Portfolio Products

ering includes the Bloomberg U.S. Large Cap Index (B500) as well as growth, value and dividend indices.The benchmarks serve as the basis for the new Bloomberg SASB ESG Index family that also includes Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-weighted versions of the value, growth and dividend indices, it announced.

“Building equity index capabilities was a natural extension of our existing suite of fixed income, commodity and currency indices,” according to Steve Berkley, global head of Bloomberg Indices. “We are responding to requests from investors to offer comprehensive and competitive equity index solutions to help our exi…
2019-09-23 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.6211, Raw Interest Score: 2.2586,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2416, Negative Sentiment 0.0840

Lighter Capital Appoints Thor Culverhouse Chief Executive Officer to Drive Next Stage of Growth

Fintech Lender Brings on Veteran CEO to Continue Expansion into New Markets

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 25, 2019–

Lighter Capital, the leading fintech lender to tech startups, announced today that it has appointed Thor Culverhouse as its CEO, effective as of September 23, 2019. In this role, he will lead the company through its next stage of growth with a focus on international expansion and broadening the company’s portfolio of financial…
2019-09-25 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.3072, Raw Interest Score: 2.0231,
Positive Sentiment: 0.4568, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

How To Build Your First Recommender System Using Python & MovieLens Dataset

Recommender systems are no joke. They have found enterprise application a long time ago by helping all the top players in the online market place. Amazon, Netflix, Google and many others have been using the technology to curate content and products for its customers. Amazon recommends products based on your purchase history, user ratings of the product etc. Netflix recommends movies and TV shows all made possible by highly efficient recommender s…
2019-09-25 08:30:06+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.0149, Raw Interest Score: 1.2944,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0658, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

Nike Earnings Reaction Boosts Dow Futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are trading above fair value, thanks to a positive earnings reaction for Nike (NKE). The Dow stock is up 5.4% in electronic trading — set to open at a record high — after the athletic apparel retailer’s strong fiscal first-quarter earnings report was met with an onslaught of price-target hikes. However, pre-market gains are modest, as traders keep a cautious eye trained on Washington, D.C, after…
2019-09-25 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.9321, Raw Interest Score: 1.8059,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1617, Negative Sentiment 0.2965

TRADING UP: Wells Fargo Grabs Murphy; BTIG Adds Cutaia

Wells Fargo Securities capitalized on the mass exodus out of Deutsche Bank’s equity trading business and snagged David Murphy, the German banks former co-head of U.S. equity sales and trading. According to his LinkedIn profile he onboarded in late summer and is in the firm’s Boston office. He spent 16 years at Deutsche Bank.

If you have a new job or promotion to report, let me know at

BTIG landed Vince Cutaia for the f…
2019-09-23 18:13:49+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.8475, Raw Interest Score: 1.9177,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1743, Negative Sentiment 0.0174

Corporate IT Technologists Can Make Good Data Analysts

Corporate IT Technologists Can Make Good Data Analysts

Data Analysts are more important than ever for your Data Science Projects.

There’s a myth in the Data Science community about that full-stack Data Scientist who is going to swoop in and magically transform your data science ventures into a profitable one overnight. Don’t get me wrong, if I ever meet a full-stack Data Scientist, I will bow in deep respect. This person has immense experience and technical knowledge. With the right business sponsors, this person…
2019-09-23 19:06:43.355000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.7154, Raw Interest Score: 2.0690,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2104, Negative Sentiment 0.1520

Citi and RBC join $18m funding round for card data API startup Fidel

Fidel, a UK-based startup that gives developers access to real-time transaction data from the big card schemes via an API, has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round joined by Citi Ventures and Royal Bank of Canada.

The round was co-led by US-based fintech specialist funds Nyca Partners and QED Investors and joined by the likes of 500 Startups and Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus.

Fidel makes it easy for developers to build applications that connect directly to co…
2019-09-25 08:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.6512, Raw Interest Score: 1.6894,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2180, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

The Data Analysts of the Future: What Will They be Doing?

The need for citizen data scientists — people who can use real-time, data-powered insights — will be on the rise with the widespread availability of data and AI-enabled, self-service analytics platforms. So, the best job of the century may be at risk. Smart machine learning algorithms can analyze and interpret data, and even produce content for dashboards and printable reports. So, who needs a data analyst or data scientist now? Amid all speculat…
2019-09-24 07:35:43+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.6109, Raw Interest Score: 2.0692,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2587, Negative Sentiment 0.2094

Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank chooses TAS Group solutions to manage payments for its corporate clients worldwide

London, 25 September 2019 – TAS S.p.A. (“TAS”) has announced that its agreement with Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank (“AGTB”), a digital corporate trade bank for international clients based in Abu Dhabi, is now operational. The contract is being managed through its subsidiary TAS Helvetia S.A. (“TAS Helvetia”) – a company wholly owned by TAS – and covers the supply of software solutions for the creation and management of a payment hub for correspondent ban…
2019-09-25 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.5254, Raw Interest Score: 2.0676,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3405, Negative Sentiment 0.0973

Data Governance and Data Discovery: Enabling Data Regulation Implementation

Businesses are continuously striving to leverage data-driven insights or competitive intelligence, the concept of developing an organizational “data culture” will gain prominence. Data and data analytics will continue to play key roles in global businesses of the future.

According to the article Why Data Culture Matters: “Organizational culture can accelerate the application of analytics, amplify its power, and steer companies away from risky outcomes.” Data culture being an integral part of the organizational culture can “neither be imported nor imposed.” It has to develop organically within an…
2019-09-17 07:35:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.2321, Raw Interest Score: 1.8194,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1440, Negative Sentiment 0.4450

Alternative Data Analysis – RS Metrics MetalSignals

Alternative data is now being hailed as the new oil. These data sets give a unique and timely view of the market and various industries. They provide valuable insights and help us predict events long before traditional news outlets. Two of the companies on the forefront of this data revolution are Quandl and RS Metrics.

These companies have used satellite imagery and geospatial analytics to provide a novel form of alternative data. Using advance…
2019-09-19 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.1911, Raw Interest Score: 1.5020,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1344, Negative Sentiment 0.0632

Top 8 Open Source Data Visualization Tools

It is no surprise that data visualization plays an important role in the data science domain. It is not easy to monitor and tweak data to make it perform the way it should without a clear understanding of the data. And this is where data visualization comes into the picture, it takes the collected data and places it into a visual context. It also makes it easier to figure out patterns, tract trends, etc.

These all can be done only when you have the right data visualization tool. …
2019-09-25 04:30:07+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.1883, Raw Interest Score: 1.5942,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2362, Negative Sentiment 0.1574

How To Become A Data Analyst In 2020

The modern world is currently at its peak in terms of technology and technological advancements. There are very few things left that are not completely or partially technology-driven. Even the most basic of human tasks such as bathing too have become technology-oriented to quite an extent and the very basis of technology driving the world to a sustainable future is a mere 4-letter word; a word that we have all studied in elementary computer scien…
2019-09-25 05:24:31+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9868, Raw Interest Score: 1.5379,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2501, Negative Sentiment 0.1625

How Pune-Based Startup CutShort Is Using AI-Based Match-Making Algorithms For Recruitment

Artificial intelligence has deeply penetrated into the hiring industry, making hunting for new jobs and hiring for companies quite streamlined. One such startup revolutionising the hiring industry is CutShort, an AI-powered recruitment platform that makes it possible for companies to identify, engage with and hire the most relevant candidates in a fraction of time.

This week, Analytics India Magazine got in touch with the founder Nikunj Verma to…
2019-09-23 07:00:36+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9318, Raw Interest Score: 1.3979,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2768, Negative Sentiment 0.1522

Stock futures fall on Trump impeachment push, Nike gains

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Wednesday as a move to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump injected a fresh dose of uncertainty, with forecast-beating results from Nike Inc helping dispel some gloom.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The inquiry, which pushed the S&P 500 .SPX to post its biggest per…
2019-09-25 12:48:54+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.8978, Raw Interest Score: 1.4184,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1091, Negative Sentiment 0.4910

Is Datadog a Buy After Surging 40% Post-IPO?

IPOs, data analytics, and surging stock prices … oh my.

The year 2019 has been chock-full of noteworthy events for new tech stocks, and Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG) is the latest to make its mark.

The software-as-a-service (SaaS) company surged 40% following its IPO last Thursday and it’s currently valued at around $10 billion as of this writing. That’s an impressive feat. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) bought dat…
2019-09-25 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.8660, Raw Interest Score: 1.5172,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2008, Negative Sentiment 0.2008

RedPoint raises $13.5 million to analyze customer data with AI

RedPoint Global, a Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts-based startup developing marketing software for business-to-consumer companies, today announced that it’s secured $13.5 million in an investment round led by Camden Partners, with participation from existing investors. It brings the company’s war chest to nearly $40 million following three previous raises totaling $23.7 million, which cofounder and CEO Dale Renner said would accelerate expansion a…
2019-09-25 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.8250, Raw Interest Score: 1.3973,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2734, Negative Sentiment 0.1519

How to Shorten the Distance between Data and Value?

Last time I wrote an article about data gravity and shared ideas about how to improve the quality of data and value. As said before, today this post will give you tips on shortening the distance between data and value. In other words, build the data link. In this regard, IT departments play the most critical role, which is the safeguard of data link in the companies.

Before starting, let me explain what the data link is.

The management link in …
2019-09-25 12:47:26.155000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.8154, Raw Interest Score: 1.6893,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1460, Negative Sentiment 0.1668

TNS adds Euronext Derivatives Market Data to offering

Transaction Network Services (TNS) has added to its market data portfolio by becoming a Vendor of Record for Euronext Derivatives Market Data.

TNS’ new fully managed Euronext Derivatives Market Data service allows financial market participants to lower the cost of accessing Euronext’s extensive range of derivatives and fixed income assets. It can also be extended to provide equities market data if required.

“TNS’ low-latency, high-capacity co…
2019-09-25 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.8000, Raw Interest Score: 1.5523,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2003, Negative Sentiment 0.0501

Wealth management firms haemorrhage clients due to lack of digital advancement

Almost one-third of wealth management firms take over four weeks to onboard new clients, with 9 out of 10 firms lacking self-service options for younger customers

17 September 2019 – Wealth management firms globally are struggling to onboard new clients within four weeks for a standard High Net Worth Individual (HNWI). New research of global wealth management practitioners by Fenergo, a leading provider of digital Client Lifecycle Management (…
2019-09-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7599, Raw Interest Score: 2.1180,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3026, Negative Sentiment 0.2458

Form ATS-Ns Shed Growing Light on Dark Pools

Although 31 alternative trading systems serve the US equities markets, only recently have more than a third of them have posted their Form ATS-Ns to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.

“There are 12 Form ATS-Ns that are up, and I encourage people to look at them,” said Brett Redfearn, the director of the SEC’s Division of Trading & Markets during SIFMA’s annual Market Structure Conference in Midtown Manhattan. “I’m not saying th…
2019-09-20 19:35:48+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7211, Raw Interest Score: 0.9302,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2537, Negative Sentiment 0.1268

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