Alternative Data News. 18, December 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.


This is how you put the data in Data Science!

One of my favorite recent additions to the Google Search family is Dataset Search. Yes, you heard that right. You can search for datasets just like you can search for images!

Google’s vertical search engines like Google Images or Google Scholar wouldn’t last long if no one used them, so their varieties tell you a little something about what people tend to look for on the internet. Images, videos, and news are hardly surprising. But datasets? There’s your hint that working with datasets isn’t just for three isolated professors in a faraway igloo. It’s big. …and it’s getting bigger.

What’s the catch? There isn’t one. This really is the same thing as searching with Google Images or Google Scholar, but for datasets. Over 20 million (!) datasets are currently indexed and available… and that index is growing quickly. Today it puts 20 million datasets at your fingertips… and there will be more tomorrow. Now that you know it exists, you can go play with it here or you can stick around for a discussion of how Dataset Search works and what it means for the data science profession and humanity in general.

2019-12-16 02:29:01.149000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.9583, Raw Interest Score: 1.1367,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2038, Negative Sentiment 0.0941

CloudQuant Thoughts : Cassie Kozyrkov, Chief Decision Scientist at Google is back in our Blog search with a bang, GOOGLE DATASET SEARCH! 20 million Data Sets and counting. We did already cover this on Monday on our ML AI Newsletter/Blog Post (you can subscribe to email versions of both our newsletters in the panel to the right), but this is a huge AltData story – 20 million datasets huge!

US banks explore alt data for credit underwriting

US banks are researching use cases of alternative data in the lending space, according to software vendors.

“The risk of using alternative data without some sort of guidance framework is that data can be used intentionally or unintentionally in a discriminatory fashion. So that’s why we are very concerned as an industry about the use of alternative data,” says Brian Costello, VP of data strategy, Yodlee. “And we have to be careful with this because typically we use alternative data in a machine learning, AI scenarios and we’re still figuring out all of the bugs in the AI model.”

“The label ‘alternative data’ is really tied to the context of using bank statement data, using your transaction data in a lending scenario. I am aware of just a few that are starting to really look at that in their underwriting process. The vast majority of banks I speak with are using it for the affordability check side,” he says.

2019-12-13 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.8612, Raw Interest Score: 2.1270,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0000, Negative Sentiment 0.1934

CloudQuant Thoughts : In China you can get a loan on the WeChat app, which almost all Chinese citizens use, in 8 seconds. A typical bank considers up to 10 different financial data points, the WeChat loan considers over 5000 personal features … in 8 seconds.

Why Talent Shortage In AI May End Soon

Organisations across the world are witnessing talent shortage in AI and are struggling to hire competent employees in this ever-changing landscape. Since every company is striving for a data-driven approach, there is a rise in the integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, among others, to achieve business objectives. However, the absence of superior talent in the market is impeding the growth of firms. In fact, research tells us that 85% of AI projects fail due to risk, confusion and lack of upskilling in the employees.

“It is very challenging to get excellent developers in the space even though AI and Data Science has been the most sought-after skill,” says Gaurav Mehrotra, vice president and head of business data solutions at Innoviti Payment Solutions.

A recent report published by noted online learning platform Coursera states that out of the 45 million learners on the platform, two million enrolled in AI-based content in 2019. These courses were not only taken by aspirants but also CXOs and employees, resulting in a sudden surge.

Top 10 Courses On Coursera:

  1. Machine Learning (Standford)
  2. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects (McMaster University and UC San Diego)
  3. The Science of Well Being (Yale)
  4. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) (University of Michigan)
  5. AI for Everyone (deeplearning.ai)
  6. Neural Networks and Deep Learning (deeplearning.ai)
  7. English for Career Development (University of Pennsylvania)
  8. Algorithms, Part I (Princeton)
  9. Introduction to TensorFlow for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning (deeplearning.ai)
  10. What is Data Science (IBM)

2019-12-17 08:22:27+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.0871, Raw Interest Score: 1.3211,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2131, Negative Sentiment 0.2983

CloudQuant Thoughts : With a child about to enter the University system I had hoped that the online degree would be with us by now. We are not quite there yet but the volume and quality of classes online is increasing at a staggering rate.

The age of data abundance…and time poverty

“Data is the new oil” – you’ve probably heard this quote all too frequently by now. I can’t deny this is an interesting parallel, given data (just like oil) can be mined, stored and transformed in order to power other technologies and create value. However, I think this parallel is not only misleading, but dangerous when you consider the broader consequences to society and financial services.

Oil became one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world and, over the course of history, created wealth, whilst enabling new technologies to come to life. However, oil simultaneously became a source of political power, corruption, war and environmental disasters. Data, as a digital commodity, is following a similar trajectory. The concentration, use and access to data is one of the most pressing issues of this digital age. When stored and consumed in excess, data, just like oil, creates new social and economic challenges (as well as imbalances); second-order effects if you like, that whilst largely unpredictable, are potentially harmful to the environment, humanity and global financial stability.

2019-12-17 06:23:59 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.6658, Raw Interest Score: 1.8052,
Positive Sentiment: 0.4828, Negative Sentiment 0.3568

CloudQuant Thoughts : An interesting proposal that “Time is the new Oil”. Data excess, data pollution, too much competition for our attention is actually resulting in reduced efficiency.

Financial research innovation: the next information advantage

An information advantage has become one of the most important competitive edges in the financial markets today. Receiving the right data, faster than competitors, is a significant driver of performance. However, while firms invested over $50 billion in 2019 into market data[1], investment in technology to make the consumption of financial research more efficient has been neglected for too long, argues Limeglass’s co-founders, Rowland Park and Simon Gregory.

It has become almost a cliché in today’s financial markets to talk about the importance of data. The market for data and data analytics continues to break records year after year. The biggest institutions race one another to produce the most sophisticated technology to best leverage that data. This is perhaps unsurprising. Having more data to make trading decisions is one of the most fundamental advantages a market participant can have. Yet, when it comes to honing and modernising data consumption and processing, one area has conspicuously lagged behind the rest: the consumption of financial research.

2019-12-16 15:57:06 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.2411, Raw Interest Score: 1.8872,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3044, Negative Sentiment 0.2841

Can Machine Learning Predict The Stock Market?

We test to see if technology is powerful enough to solve the mystery of financial markets

If invested correctly and wisely, the U.S. stock market can generate astonishing returns. Following the steps of quantitative investment firms like Two Sigma and Citadel, we are interested in knowing if we can use machine learning to predict stock price movements.

We used Alpha Vantage API to pull daily price data for five ETFs (QQQ, TQQQ, VTI, IWM, SPY) and started out with just Open, High, Low, Close and Volume.

2019-12-17 22:12:32.470000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.1293, Raw Interest Score: 2.0658,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1460, Negative Sentiment 0.1241

8 AI Predictions for 2020: Business Leaders & Researchers Weigh In

The first industrial revolution was powered by coal, the second by oil and gas, and the third by nuclear power. The fourth — AI — is fueled by an abundance of data and breakthroughs in compute power. While this abundance has allowed us to make significant progress in recent years, there is still much to be done for AI to be the positive life-changing force that many hope it will be. We asked thought leaders at the forefront of AI and machine lear…
2019-12-11 15:27:08+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.0421, Raw Interest Score: 1.6497,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2381, Negative Sentiment 0.2211

New York-Based Electronic Bond Trading Platform, Trumid, Partners with Inforalgo to Expand Client Connectivity

London, UK – December 12th, 2019 – Inforalgo, the Capital Markets data automation specialist, has announced a new partnership with fast-growing financial technology company, Trumid. The alliance will see Inforalgo provide on-demand integration to Trumid Market Center, the firm’s electronic bond trading platform, easing straight-through processing (STP).

The partnership, formed initially in response to a specific client request, will benefit a br…
2019-12-12 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.7523, Raw Interest Score: 1.8838,
Positive Sentiment: 0.4365, Negative Sentiment 0.0689

The hedge funds that can hire whomever they want

If you’re thinking of leaving a bank for a fund now, watch where you leap. In every year since 2015, hedge fund closures have exceeded launches, and things seem to be getting worse rather than better. In 2019 investors pulled $87.9bn from hedge funds, which was double the amount they extracted in 2018. When you’re joining a fund now, you therefore need to be assured that it’s not leaking assets.

One way of doing this is to join an industry leader. One of the hedge fund industry’s veteran headhunters says this is exactly what’s happening. While failing funds like Moore Capital Management are closing due to, ‘intense competition for trading talent,’ he says top analysts and portfolio managers are gravitating to multi-strategy market leaders which are benefiting from a virtuous circle of increasingly talented staff and increasingly impressive returns.

“The top talent is going to firms like Citadel and Millennium,” says headhunter Claude Schwab, former talent strategist for Bridgewater Associates and founder of the site Hedge Fund Observer. “They are literally picking up whoever they want. It’s hard for other firms to compete.”

2019-12-18 06:28:00-07:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.6883, Raw Interest Score: 1.6121,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2931, Negative Sentiment 0.1710

Data Science & AI Trends In India To Watch Out For In 2020 | By Analytics India Magazine & AnalytixLabs

The year 2019 was great in terms of analytics adoption as the domestic analytics industry witnessed a significant growth this year. There has been a visible shift towards intelligent automation, AI and machine learning that is changing the face of all major sectors — right from new policies by the Indian Government, to micro-adoption by startups and SMEs.

While customer acquisition, investment in enterprise-grade data infrastructure, personalised products were some of the trends from 2018, this year our industry interaction suggested that democratisation of AI, AI push into hardware and software are much talked about.

Our annual data science and AI trends report for the upcoming year 2020 aims at exploring the key strategic shifts that enterprises are most likely to make in the coming year to stay relevant and intelligent. This year we collaborated with AnalytixLabs, a leading Applied AI & Data Science training institute to bring out the key trends.

  1. The Rise Of Hyper-Automation
  2. Humanized Artificial Intelligence Products
  3. Advancements in Natural Language Processing & Conversational AI
  4. Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI)
  5. Augmented Analytics & Artificial Intelligence
  6. Innovations In Data Storage Technologies
  7. Data Privacy Getting Mainstream
  8. Increasing Awareness On Ethical Use Of Artificial Intelligence
  9. Quantum Computing & Data Science
  10. Saving The Data Lakes

2019-12-18 05:35:12+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.6602, Raw Interest Score: 1.8409,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3423, Negative Sentiment 0.1711

23 hot startups that want to go public in 2020, and the 2 Silicon Valley venture firms that will clean up up when they do

Even though 2019 ultimately did not become the IPO windfall many insiders hoped, that hasn’t stopped the parade of startups from marching along to Wall Street in 2020.

According to a new report from CB Insights released Wednesday, at least 23 startups are hoping to go public via traditional IPO or direct listing in 2020. The pipeline includes popular hits such as home rental startup Airbnb, financial management tool Credit…
2019-12-10 00:00:00 Read the full story (PAYWALL)…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.5437, Raw Interest Score: 2.1063,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0405, Negative Sentiment 0.0878

AutoML Are Functional But Have Limitations That We Cannot Ignore

AutoML is deemed as the next wave of machine learning as it allows organisations to deploy models and make informed decisions quickly. For years, AutoML was only used for tabular data, but now it has been enhanced for creating models that deal with text and images. Such enhancements lead to a rise in the adoption of AutoML solutions among AI-driven organisations. Today, firms are actively embracing automation in ML for transforming and their workflows to address customer demands.

Reports suggest that AI skills gap is causing hindrance in technology adoption. Thus, firms have veered towards adopting AutoML solutions as a workaround to the absence of relevant talents in the landscape.

A trio of Google’s AI experts used AutoML in a Kaggle competition against top data scientists and finished second after leading most of the way. Such instances demonstrate the capability of AutoML solutions in the current landscape. However, that doesn’t mean a non-expert can give a run for their money to data scientists. In fact, it affirms the need for data scientists to leverage the tool to make the most out of data. Thus, addressing talents gap with AutoML cannot be the right solution.

2019-12-17 14:30:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.2009, Raw Interest Score: 1.7462,
Positive Sentiment: 0.4140, Negative Sentiment 0.3420

FINRA Names Consolidated Exam Team

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Thursday that it has appointed a senior leadership team to head its new examination and risk monitoring structure, a move that marks the consolidation of broker-dealer regulator’s three exam functions into a single, unified program.

The exam functions previously were divided among three programs responsible for business conduct, financial and trading compliance.

“The conso…
2019-12-12 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.0972, Raw Interest Score: 1.4190,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1684, Negative Sentiment 0.0481

Satori Cyber Raises $5.25 Million to Deliver Industry’s First Secure Data Access Cloud, Accelerating Data-Driven Innovation

Data protection and governance platform provides complete data-flow visibility with transparent, secure and compliant data access across all cloud and hybrid data stores

TEL AVIV, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 17, 2019–

Satori Cyber, the Israeli startup revolutionizing data protection and governance, today announced $5.25 million in seed funding led by YL Ventures. Founded by former Imperva senior executives Eldad Chai, CEO, and Yoav Cohen, C…
2019-12-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.0058, Raw Interest Score: 1.6379,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2700, Negative Sentiment 0.2160

The ‘best job in America’ that pays $100,000 for job satisfaction and new college graduates

Getty Images The jobs environment is getting rosier, at least judging by the latest jobs figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Can you have a job with high satisfaction that also pays six figures? What about first-time job hunters? The answer to both questions is, “Yes.”

If you choose wisely.

The jobs environment is getting rosier, at least judging by the latest jobs figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was…
2019-12-12 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4863, Raw Interest Score: 1.6639,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2011, Negative Sentiment 0.0914

SteelEye launches Insights analytics solution for regulatory and financial data

SteelEye, a compliance technology and data analytics firm, has launched Insights, a new solution for enhanced analytics.

Insights transforms how firms interact with and use their financial and regulatory information by allowing them to easily bring together data, build insightful visualisations and export any report for continued analysis.

SteelEye was formed to help firms realise the benefits that can be gained from the regulatory requirement fo…
2019-12-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4790, Raw Interest Score: 1.4939,
Positive Sentiment: 0.6536, Negative Sentiment 0.1867

Webinar – The SME Open Banking Revolution

The SME space is ripe for disruption in terms of open banking services. Arguably more complex to serve, yet with the potential to yield great benefits for all concerned, the time has come for banks to step up and address the issues that their business clients grapple with, and serve them better.

Open banking is about greater competition and improved accessibility for all concerned, including lending product variation and availability for small a…
2019-12-16 15:58:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4621, Raw Interest Score: 1.2796,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3791, Negative Sentiment 0.2844

These are the 8 Blackstone dealmakers who insiders say are the future of the firm

45 billion of assets under management, has its hands in real estate, private equity, credit, and hedge funds.

Its ever-expanding portfolio of companies includes businesses from mobile advertising to data analytics, to firms that create the world’s roads, tunnels, and wind farms.

We spoke with industry insiders, including recruiters, bankers, and competitors to compile a list of rising dealmakers at the private equity giant.

Click here for more BI Prime stories.

It seems the Blackstone Group, with more than half a trillion in assets, owns just about everything.

Whether you’re spending a night in a hotel…
2019-12-18 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4594, Raw Interest Score: 1.2993,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1392, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

Here’s what you need to know about the $12 trillion ESG investment world

As pensions, companies and mutual-fund managers come under pressure to act in line with their investors’ conscience, so-called socially responsible investing strategies have blossomed.

Indeed, investments in funds focused on SRI have grown to $17.67 billion through November, from $2.83 billion in 2015, according to Morningstar. Moreover, the U.S. Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investments estimates that around $12 trillion of assets in th…
2019-12-18 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3518, Raw Interest Score: 1.3697,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1150, Negative Sentiment 0.3869

Elastic Stock Off 40% From Record High Despite Strong SaaS Growth

Elastic shares are down 13% YTD versus a 32.8% gain for the Nasdaq Composite. Photographer: Michael … [+] Nagle/Bloomberg © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

Investors are trying to decide if the risk/reward balance on Elastic (ESTC) is now attractive following the stock’s 40% drop from the all-time high set in July.

It has been a volatile year for shares of Elastic. At the record high of $104.10, the stock was up 45% YTD. But the good times didn’t l…
2019-12-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.2409, Raw Interest Score: 1.4547,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2874, Negative Sentiment 0.1437

Why the data chief of Morgan Stanley’s $17 billion wealth-management division hopes his team will become obsolete — and what that says about the changing role of the CDO

Most managers would measure their success partially on how much their team has grown over the years. But for Morgan Stanley’s Jeff McMillan, the opposite is true.

As chief analytics and data officer for Morgan Stanley’s $17 billion wealth-management division, he’s on a quest to empower the group’s 25,000 employees to harness data on their own in hopes that his team may eventually be obsolete.

It’s an example of how the job of tech chiefs is cha…
2019-12-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.2099, Raw Interest Score: 1.4543,
Positive Sentiment: 0.4654, Negative Sentiment 0.0873

Crossix Continues to Expand Health Data Network

According to a recent press release, “Crossix announced today it has added several new data partners and sources as the company continues to expand its network of connected health data. Additional Rx and medical claims data will allow an even more complete picture of the patient journey, including for specialty prescription products. The Crossix analytics platform provides technology that connects health and non-health data for more than 300 mill…
2019-12-17 08:10:59+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.1575, Raw Interest Score: 1.1327,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2697, Negative Sentiment 0.1618

Springboard raises $11 million and partners with Microsoft to combat global tech talent shortage

Springboard, an education technology startup that provides training courses for people looking for in-demand technical roles, has raised $11 million in a “post series A” round of funding led by Reach Capital, with participation from Pearson Ventures, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Costanoa Ventures, Learn Capital, and Blue Fog Capital.

The San Francisco-based company also announced a partnership with Microsoft to train thousands of stu…
2019-12-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.0494, Raw Interest Score: 1.1567,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1314, Negative Sentiment 0.0789

Why This Trade Deal Matters: Cramer’s ‘Mad Money’ Recap (Monday 12/16/19)

Jim Cramer says this market likes certainty, and that’s why we’re seeing stocks gain in the wake of the China trade deal news.

This market thrives on certainty and certainty is exactly what we got with the first phase of the trade deal, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. The trade deal matters a lot to the stock market, and even if, ultimately, the Chinese go back of some of their promises, there is money to be made here in the short …
2019-12-16 19:16:15-05:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.9908, Raw Interest Score: 1.3187,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2002, Negative Sentiment 0.1531

PyDev of the Week: Ted Petrou

This week we welcome Ted Petrou (@TedPetrou) as our PyDev of the Week! Ted is the author of the Pandas Cookbook and also teaches Pandas in several courses on Udemy. Let’s take some time to get to know Ted better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I graduated with a masters degree in statistics from Rice University in Houston, Texas in 2006. During my degree, I never heard the phrase “machine learning” uttered ev…
2019-12-16 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.9809, Raw Interest Score: 1.0984,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3104, Negative Sentiment 0.0239

Explaining The 2019 UK Election Result With Data Science

The ultimate aim of this will be to create a model that uses this demographic data to predict which party is likely to win in each constituency. Once we have developed an accurate model, we can analyse it to see what the most important drivers were, thus inferring the biggest electoral factors.

Before we do this, however, it can be eye opening to investigate the geographical distribution of some of these KPIs, and the regional disparities that t…
2019-12-17 14:25:39.001000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.9744, Raw Interest Score: 0.8873,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1860, Negative Sentiment 0.2218

DataRobot is acquiring Paxata to add data prep to machine learning platform – TechCrunch

not reveal the purchase price.

Paxata raised a total of $90 million before today’s acquisition, according to the company.

Up until now, DataRobot has concentrated mostly on the machine learning and data science aspect of the workflow — building and testing the model, then putting it into production. The data prep was left to other vendors like Paxata, but DataRobot, which raised $206 million in September, saw an opportunity to fill in a gap in their platform with Paxata.

“We’ve identified, because we’ve been focused on machine learning for so long, a number of key data prep capabilities that are requir…
2019-12-12 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.7194, Raw Interest Score: 1.4134,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3141, Negative Sentiment 0.0393

BlackRock: Time To Implement Business Roundtable With Voting Record

BERKELEY, CA—DEC. 17, 2019—Shareholder advocacy non-profit As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution last Friday with BlackRock, asking for a report on how the company plans to fully implement the Business Roundtable (BRT) “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” which was signed by Chairman and CEO Larry Fink in August 2019. The statement calls for a stakeholder-centric view that holds employees, customers, supply chain, and communities in w…
2019-12-17 18:05:01+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.7172, Raw Interest Score: 1.1692,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1461, Negative Sentiment 0.2923

Applying big data analytics to patient records, OM1 offers insights to hospitals and pharma – TechCrunch

OM1, a big-data analytics company for the healthcare industry, has raised $50 million in its latest round of financing to expand its sales and marketing and product development activities as it brings clinical insights to hospitals and big pharma companies alike.

The new financing highlights just how important access to data is in the fight to increase efficiencies and drive down costs in healthcare. Pharmaceutical compa…
2019-12-17 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.7070, Raw Interest Score: 0.9483,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2371, Negative Sentiment 0.0000


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