The AltData Newsletter by CloudQuant

Alternative Data News. 19, February 2020

Alternative Data News. 19, February 2020


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.


CloudQuant Thoughts : China and China data

Even though none of our news scraper articles for last week seem to cover it, the corona virus has undoubtedly been the key driver of recent trading results and even if the virus is brought under control shortly this will drag on for at least a year. Last week we reported on how some traders were using AltData to identify if/when and by how much China was restoring production. Specifically we pointed out their use of Tom Tom’s data on Beijing traffic patterns. Amongst others CNN has reported the enormous stress that the shutdown is causing China’s small business’ “About 30 million small and medium-sized businesses contribute more than 60% of the country’s GDP, according to government statistics published last September. The taxes they pay account for more than half of government revenue, and they employ more than 80% of China’s workers.”, “According to the Tsinghua University and Peking University survey of firms, 85% of respondents said they would go out of business if the outbreak lasts three months. By the six month mark, 90% of the companies would collapse.” Rumors abound that more than 50% will not be able to manage the crisis as it stands and despite the central governments announcements of assistance through the People’s Bank of China, local banks’ “fear of failure” (the same fear of failure that was undoubtedly responsible for the slow response to the initial outbreak) may prevent small business’ getting access to these loans. Flights are at 20% of normal levels, long distance buses are at 50% capacity. Even if an employee is able to get back to the working cities they will be on two week lock down. Electricity consumption is well below normal usage suggesting industry has not yet powered up. Nitrous Dioxide emissions are at a third of their normal level post the lunar new year. Shops are shut, logistics to move product around the country are still fairly locked down. The ripple effects on the finances of ordinary citizens, their ability to locate food and purchase it are all under extreme pressure. Add to this that the goverment is using its tracking facilities to track minute by minute movement of those infected and assisting in the crack down on those who break the mandatory two-week isolation/quarantine plus the videos of people being forcibly removed from their homes and the long term damage to the Chinese psyche cannot be underestimated.  

ESG ETFs Hit New Highs

ESG investments are getting hot. So far in 2020, investors in ETFs appear to be showing a growing preference for investments that follow ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) criteria, some of which represent disruptive technologies. As evidence of this, new 52-week highs were reached in daily trading by the Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (ESGV) and the iShares ESG MSCI USA Leaders ETF (SUSL). KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • ESG-focused ETFs from iShares and Vanguard have hit 52-week highs.
  • Big tech firms tend to dominate the portfolios of ESG funds.
  • “Green” technologies and practices are only part of the selection criteria.
Significance For Investors – ESG investing exploded in 2019 as a record $20.6 billion flowed into the sector via mutual funds and ETFs. That’s nearly four times the previous record in 2018. While still a fraction of investable assets, more and more money managers, global banking giants, and philanthropic investors are setting hard and fast rules about not funneling more money to companies or funds that include fossil fuel stocks, boards that lack diversity, and companies that are not contributing to sustainability goals.

2020-02-18 16:12:06.819000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.8718, Raw Interest Score: 1.7664,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1140, Negative Sentiment 0.2564

CloudQuant Thoughts : No surprises here, we have been banging on about ESG forever, part of our service is to provide access to curated data sets (we check the data, clean it, write the code, test it, and produce a white paper that wraps all our testing in one complete package) and one of our most interesting is the ESG data set from G&S Quotient. BUT…. most of these ESG ETFs and investment funds do not go much further than investing in Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft as four firms that score highly on most ESG based scorecards, are these really what you think of when you think ESG? You might as well just invest in FAANG! Is the future move going to be towards firms that more realistically epitomize the ESG spirit?  

Five Data Science and Machine Learning Trends That Will Define Job Prospects in 2020

Data Science and ML have been one of the most talked-about trends in 2019 and without any surprise, they will continue to be so in 2020 as well. From shopping online, hailing rides, ordering food to show binging and digital courses, today everything you indulge in is regulated or influenced by AI and Data Science in known and unknown ways. This dramatic adoption of AI & Data Science in recent years has transitioned this trend from a niche into a mainstream. And with 2020 fueling this transition further, these two trends are going to be the norm of every industry soon. This transitional phase is perfectly described in a Harvard Business Review article as, “Sooner or later, every technology transition from an elite niche to a mainstream tool. AI is now undergoing a similar transformation.… We’re entering an age in which just about anyone can leverage the power of intelligent algorithms to solve the problems that matter to them.” To keep up with the trend and demand, businesses are also increasing their appetite for AI resources, resulting in an upsurge of AI jobs. According to Indeed, a leading job portal, AI job postings rose 57.9% from May 2017 to May 2018 and a whopping 136.3% between May 2016 and May 2017.
  1. Data Science in the Cloud
  2. Natural Language Processing
  3. Machine Learning as a Service
  4. Embedded Analytics
  5. Data Privacy and Cyber Security

2020-02-19 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.7265, Raw Interest Score: 2.0507,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1611, Negative Sentiment 0.0586


SEC Proposes to Modernize Market Data Structure

The Securities and Exchange Commission Friday proposed to modernize the infrastructure for the collection, consolidation, and dissemination of market data for exchange-listed national market system (NMS) stocks. The proposal would update and expand the content of NMS market data to better meet the diverse needs of investors in today’s equity markets. The Commission has not significantly updated the rules that govern the content and dissemination of NMS market data since their initial implementation in the late 1970s. The proposal would also seek to introduce competitive forces into this core component of the national market system for the first time. The introduction of and competition among these new data consolidators could, in turn, allow all market participants, including investors, to access and benefit from the expanded content of NMS market data. “Today’s proposal is part of our larger initiative to modernize our equity market regulatory structure to address significant changes in our trading markets. In particular, today’s proposals are designed to improve data quality and data access for all market participants,” said Chairman Jay Clayton. “Both the content of NMS market data and the technologies used to collect, consolidate, and disseminate that data have lagged meaningfully behind proprietary data products and systems offered by the exchanges. By expanding the content of this data and introducing competitive forces into the market, the proposals would enhance transparency and ensure that improved NMS market data is available on terms that are accessible to a wide variety of participants in today’s markets.” 2020-02-18 15:38:12+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.3628, Raw Interest Score: 1.9561,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3180, Negative Sentiment 0.0867

Challenges of Integrating Heterogeneous Data Sources

With enterprise data pouring in from different sources – CRM systems, web applications, databases, files, etc. – streamlining data processes is a significant challenge as it requires integrating heterogeneous data streams. In such a scenario, standardizing data becomes a pre-requisite for effective and accurate analysis. The absence of the right integration strategy will give rise to application-specific and intradepartmental data silos, which can hinder productivity and delay results. Consolidating data from disparate structured, unstructured, and semi-structured sources can be complex. A survey conducted by Gartner revealed that one-third of respondents consider “integrating multiple data sources” as one of the top four integration challenges. Understanding the common issues faced during this process can help enterprises successfully counteract them. Here are three challenges generally faced by organizations when integrating heterogeneous data sources as well as ways to resolve them:

2020-02-17 08:35:43+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.3461, Raw Interest Score: 1.7553,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2468, Negative Sentiment 0.6308


Leading with Data Analytics – TCU

The volume and importance of business data and analytics are growing at an exponential rate. Today, more organizations are taking advantage with data science methodologies to understand the current nature of the firm’s business operations and strategy as well as predict “what may happen” and be prepared for “what might be a good course of action to take,” based on the application of data analytics. This course will help you better understand how to leverage data analytics to make decisions and enable business success. Additionally, you will gain a basic understanding of three popularly applied approaches to data analysis. Who should attend? – Business leaders, managers, and functional-area knowledge workers at all levels who want to take advantage of the real opportunity to better utilize data analytics to develop knowledge and insights that drive improved decision-making.

2020-04-07 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.3281, Raw Interest Score: 1.9017,
Positive Sentiment: 0.9509, Negative Sentiment 0.0000


Snowflake Announces General Availability on Google Cloud

A new press release reports, “Snowflake, the cloud data platform, today announced general availability on Google Cloud, bringing together Snowflake’s cloud-native data platform with Google Cloud’s capabilities in AI, ML and analytics. Snowflake is now available in the us-central1 (Iowa) and europe-west4 (Netherlands) regions with additional regions coming later this year. Combined with the new database replication feature, Snowflake makes it easy for customers to migrate their data to Google Cloud or keep their database data synchronized between multiple cloud providers for business continuity. General availability of Snowflake on Google Cloud is a continuation of the company’s commitment to providing customers with the flexibility of choosing a preferred- or multi-cloud environment that best supports their business and users.”
2020-02-19 08:05:57+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.1366, Raw Interest Score: 2.1809,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1596, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

10 Apps For Data Scientists To Enhance Their Skills

Finding time to learn a new skill can be difficult, especially when it comes to the competitive field of data science. With the rapid increase in the usage of mobiles, mobile apps have revolutionised the system for learning. Apart from adding excitement to the whole process, mobile apps also make it convenient for data science enthusiasts to learn and upskill themselves on the go. In this article, we have shared a few interesting apps that can help data scientists to learn, practice and enhance their skills.
  1. Data Science 101
  2. Elevate
  3. Lumosity
  4. NeuroNation
  5. Math Workout
  6. QPython
  7. Basic Statistics
  8. Probability Distributions
  9. Programming Hub
  10. Learn Python

2020-02-19 05:33:53+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9449, Raw Interest Score: 1.5059,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3364, Negative Sentiment 0.1602


Data Architects, It’s Time to Improve Your Data Classification

Team Data — data architects in particular, whatever their official title may be — have a job to do. That is to take more aggressive steps to protect data assets on behalf of customers and constituents. The responsibility falls to data architects because few in most organizations are thinking about protecting data from the data point of view, so to speak. The lawyers and the security group think about it from the standpoint of data breaches, applications, SQL injections, and so on. Everything starts with a data catalog for classification and data integration. It revolves around “the identification of data elements — privacy, security, confidentiality, usability, context, allowed uses, or any other data protection-like requirements,” said Karen Lopez, Senior Project Manager and Architect at InfoAdvisors. She was speaking on the topic at the DATAVERSITY® Enterprise Data World Conference during her presentation titled Data Categorization for Data Architects.

2020-02-19 08:35:24+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.8509, Raw Interest Score: 1.4255,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0407, Negative Sentiment 0.1222


Ten Expert Tips And Advice For Aspiring Data Scientists

Thinking about pursuing a career in data science but not sure where to start? With endless archives of information available online and few that may be coming from verified sources, sifting through this information could be challenging. As a result, we have compiled a valuable collection of tips and thoughts from a variety of experts from the data science community. Here are individual insights and pieces of advice from data scientists themselves that could help you carve out a profitable career in this field…

2020-02-18 13:00:30+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7120, Raw Interest Score: 1.3058,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2583, Negative Sentiment 0.2439

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