Alternative Data News. 01, April 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.


Alternative Data on CNBC – Goldman Sachs Data

TSA checkpoint travel numbers for 2020 and 2019

The TSA daily numbers are available online and make it clear just how much the passenger numbers have dropped and should give a good indication of when consumer confidence starts to return. Follow this link.

How To Get Your Child Interested In Data Science

It is a known fact that data science as a career has emerged as one of the top choices for anyone looking to choose a stream or switch careers. In all likelihood, this individual is fully aware that the field has been facing a deficit when it comes to talent, despite the demand.

Governments have been taking several initiatives – and so have many organizations – to include data science in the middle school curriculum. This move could familiarize students with key data science concepts like statistics, coding and visualization, among others.

But, before that, they have to first develop an interest in its fundamentals. Below, we have tried to list down some tasks that we, as adults, can do to help children develop an interest towards this promising field:

2020-03-31 14:30:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.1918, Raw Interest Score: 0.9192,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2593, Negative Sentiment 0.0471

CloudQuant Thoughts :

Step 1 – Train your child to do mental math. Train your child to excel at math. Get them into Data Science at a young age.
Step 2 – ?????
Step 3 – Profit!!!


ESG Section

Customisation and co-investments gather pace, Deutsche Bank survey finds

The global hedge fund industry’s shift towards greater customisation and bespoke products is rapidly gathering momentum, as allocators pile into managed accounts and sector- or country-specific strategies, with ESG concerns also increasingly to the fore, according to a new industry study published by Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche’s 18th annual Alternative Investment Survey – which takes the temperature of hedge fund investor sentiment and gauges future asset allocation plans – suggests investors are keen to grow their investments following strong performance in 2019.

But the bank also concedes that since the research was conducted last month, the recent economic turmoil over the Covid-19 pandemic has potentially thrown investment plans into disarray.
2020-03-31 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.3908, Raw Interest Score: 2.5495,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1800, Negative Sentiment 0.1200

New Portfolio Products for Uncertain Times

Here’s a smattering of new portfolio models available:
New ESG ETFs : Blackrock’s iShares plans to introduce three ETFs that exclude fossil fuels as part of its Advanced-branded product line for index-based ETFs that also screens out for-profit prisons, controversial weapons manufacturers, palm oil producers and companies with high controversy scores. It rebranded its Sustainable Core ETFs as Aware funds, which include only companies with favorable environmental, social and governance characteristics but offer a similar risk and return profile to broad market indexes.

2020-03-30 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.0346, Raw Interest Score: 2.4854,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1822, Negative Sentiment 0.0781

CloudQuant Thoughts : If you are a regular on here you know what I am going to say… Head over to our DATA CATALOG to get access to an excellent White paper, produced by one of our Head Quants on the efficacy of an ESG data set that most data consumers are unaware of.


Learn to Optimize Algorithms in Our New Algorithm Complexity Course

Algorithms are at the center of almost any programming job. And particularly in the world of data engineering, using efficient algorithms is important enough that it’s a common topic to be quizzed about in job interviews.

That’s why we’ve just launched a new course!

Algorithms are at the center of almost any programming job. And particularly in the world of data engineering, using efficient algorithms is important enough that it’s a common topic to be quizzed about in job interviews.

This course requires a Dataquest Premium subscription (which is currently available for 50% off , although that offer ends soon).
2020-03-24 18:52:11+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.9024, Raw Interest Score: 1.5943,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1993, Negative Sentiment 0.0399

Industry poll: Investors split over hedge fund performance during sell-off

Investors are divided over how their hedge fund allocations have performed during the recent market crash, a new industry survey has found.

Investment consultancy bfinance polled 260 investors – including pension funds, insurers, foundations and endowments and family offices – in 28 countries, with assets totalling more than USD2.5 trillion.

The snap poll – which quizzed investors on a range of asset classes including hedge funds, fixed income, multi-strategy and alternative risk premia – aimed to gauge investor satisfaction with strategy performance during this month’s stock market collapse following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the 52 per cent of survey participants who invest in hedge funds, about half said they were either “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied”. On the flipside, though, roughly 40 per cent of hedge fund investors are “not satisfied” with strategy performance.

2020-03-30 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.5620, Raw Interest Score: 2.1191,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2558, Negative Sentiment 0.1827

C3.ai, Microsoft, and Leading Universities Launch C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute

According to a recent press release, “C3.ai, Microsoft Corporation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC announced two major initiatives: (1) C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute (C3.ai DTI), a research consortium dedicated to accelerating the application of artificial intelligence to speed the pace of digital transformation in business, government, and society. Jointly managed by UC Berkeley and UIUC, C3.ai DTI will sponsor and fund world-leading scientists in a coordinated effort to advance the digital transformation of business, government, and society. (2) C3.ai DTI First Call for Research Proposals: C3.ai DTI invites scholars, developers, and researchers to embrace the challenge of abating COVID-19 and advance the knowledge, science, and technologies for mitigating future pandemics using AI. This is the first in what will be a series of bi-annual calls for Digital Transformation research proposals.”
2020-03-31 07:05:10+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.3961, Raw Interest Score: 2.0389,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0927, Negative Sentiment 0.0463

Driving Good Data Management Across the Enterprise

Data Management develops in stages across the enterprise, according to the DATAVERSITY® Trends in Data Management Report. One or a few teams take the lead doing Data Management, ensuring successful data knowledge, protection, access, and value for projects or products. Then the good practices stay with that team or project, while others miss out on this knowledge. This problem seems to be intensifying.

According to a Harvard Business Review article, the percentage of firms identifying themselves as being data-driven, using data as critical evidence to help inform and influence strategy, has declined in each of the past three years since 2017, suggesting poor Data Management. Firms need to have good Data Management to be data-driven throughout, and to take advantage of new technologies such as AI. The quicker good Data Management spreads, the faster a company becomes data driven.

Plenty of articles have general tips and tricks about doing Data Management in a company. However, coordinating other teams with past or current successful Data Management efforts can be very challenging. First, executives are not always aware of where successful projects exist in their organization and not all of their teams want to know. Take the story of Kodak. Sasson and Robert Hills successfully teamed up to invent the digital camera. Kodak’s marketing department rejected this project and its data, contributing to Kodak’s bankruptcy.

2020-03-24 07:35:27+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.6679, Raw Interest Score: 2.2444,
Positive Sentiment: 0.6234, Negative Sentiment 0.1974

AI lifecycle management startup Cnvrg.io launches free community tier

Cnvrg.io, a data science startup headquartered in Jerusalem and New York, today released a community version of its machine learning automation platform designed to help enterprises manage and scale AI. CEO Yochay Ettun says the release was motivated in part by the influx of social distancing and remote work stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The release of cnvrg.io CORE is our contribution to the strong data science community responsible for advancing AI innovation,” said Ettun. “CORE’s release marks a new vision for the data science field. As data scientists, we built CORE to fill the need that so many data scientists require, to focus less on infrastructure and more on what they do best — algorithms.”

CORE facilitates machine learning workflow management with end-to-end AI model tracking and monitoring. Its built-in cluster orchestration supports hybrid cloud and multi-cloud configurations, and its compute querying and autoscaling — which can be fine-tuned from a dashboard — ensure that every available resource is fully utilized.

2020-03-31 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.5423, Raw Interest Score: 1.9656,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2457, Negative Sentiment 0.0410

ModelOp helps enterprises deploy, monitor, and maintain AI models

ModelOp, a startup developing AI software and development services for enterprises, today announced that it has raised $6 million. It plans to use the capital to support demand for its products in a market that IDC anticipates will be worth $8 billion by 2022.

The term ModelOps refers to the process of cycling analytical models from data science teams to production teams in a cadence of deployment and updates, and it typically requires extensive domain knowledge on the part of the engineers involved. ModelOp’s platform aims to streamline this by cataloging models and automating deployment, monitoring, and governance processes across customers’ organizations.

Indeed, according to Algorithmia, nearly 55% of companies haven’t yet deployed a machine learning model, and a full one-fifth are still evaluating use cases or plan to move models into production within the year. That jibes with a recent study conducted by analysts at IDC, which found that of the organizations already using AI, only 25% have developed an enterprise-wide AI strategy. Firms responding to that survey blamed the cost of AI solutions and a lack of qualified workers, as well as biased data and unrealistic expectations.

2020-03-31 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.4143, Raw Interest Score: 1.6097,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0000, Negative Sentiment 0.1314

Managing with Machines

About the course : Investing in the right combination of technology and talent is an ongoing challenge. Today, decision-making at every level of the organization requires staying ahead of advances in data analytics, AI and machine learning. Rotman’s Managing with Machines program provides you with insights from the TD Management Data and Analytics Lab on topics at the forefront of these emerging fields and their current applications. In two days, our expert faculty will help you leverage these to set strategy, adapt your systems and manage talent to solve ever-more complex business challenges. This course is not technical and does not dive into programming or computer science. However, a familiarity with basic data interpretation will be helpful in our discussions.

Who should attend : Leaders and managers who use and consume data or analytics, who rely on data and AI for decision making, or who want to leverage new technologies for a more data-driven and evidence-based strategy.
2020-06-16 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.2895, Raw Interest Score: 1.7150,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1319, Negative Sentiment 0.2639

9 Best Online Data Courses That Offer One-On-One Mentorship

While one embarks on a journey to become a data scientist, they deal with their share of confusion. Data science is a vast discipline, making it challenging to become a good data scientist as well as secure a good job in this field. This demands that one take the help and guidance of a mentor to deal with the hurdles that may come with a career in data science.

Mentors play a crucial role in the lives of data scientists because they not only clear doubts and confusion, but also help bridge the knowledge gap. Additionally, they help improve skills and help aspirants understand data science as a field.

Below, we have listed some of the best online (paid) data science courses that also offer a one-on-one mentorship opportunity:

2020-04-01 05:30:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.1969, Raw Interest Score: 1.8883,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2832, Negative Sentiment 0.0944

Nokia’s AVA 5G Cognitive Operations offers carriers AI-as-a-service

Artificial intelligence is increasingly touted as having a critical role to play in 5G networks, though the specifics of the 5G-AI relationship are often left ambiguous or masked with jargon in corporate announcements. But that’s not the case for 5G network hardware maker Nokia, which today announced AVA 5G Cognitive Operations, offering AI-as-a-service so mobile carriers can optimize their 5G networks and enterprise services.
2020-03-31 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9915, Raw Interest Score: 1.6051,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2675, Negative Sentiment 0.3210

AI safety, AI ethics and the AGI debate

Editor’s note: The Towards Data Science podcast’s “Climbing the Data Science Ladder” series is hosted by Jeremie Harris. Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds. You can listen to the podcast below:

Most of us believe that decisions that affect us should be reached by following a reasoning process that combines data we trust with a logic that we find acceptable.
2020-03-30 16:11:32.075000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9169, Raw Interest Score: 1.4631,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1590, Negative Sentiment 0.5089

Enfusion Hires FinTech Vet Kim As Its Chief Executive Officer

Enfusion, a leading provider of cloud-based investment management software, managed middle & back-office services and data analytics, landed former Tassat executive Thomas Kim as its Chief Executive Officer. The announcement comes after an in-depth search by the Board of Directors.

The executive hire emerges amidst additional leadership investments: all of whom bring world class track records that the company’s clients and employees will benefit from. Tarek Hammoud, the company’s previous CEO and an original founder, will con…
2020-03-25 13:44:18+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7689, Raw Interest Score: 1.6564,
Positive Sentiment: 0.7417, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

The Sharpe Ratio Paradox: Why Still Invest In Venture Capital?

Sharpe ratio is a way of quantifying returns based on risk, specifically it is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk.There are some limitations, for instance slightly different distributions of returns for a portfolio give quite different Sharpe ratios. But overall it’s a widely accepted metric. Over the past 25 years, the average annual Sharpe ratio for the S&P 500 has been 1 and it is often taken as the baseline for judging different asset classes. Anything lower than 1 is considered a bad investment since you could just put the money passively into S&P 500 and do better.

So where does VC stack? The short and widely publicized answer — not well. As an example, here is an example from John Kinlay, a well-respected quant. Kinlay took data from Cambridge Associates on quarterly pooled end-to-end net returns to LPs from 1981 to Q2 2014 and found the Sharpe ratio to be 0.68. If you change the boundaries a bit you can get a higher number but bottomline, VC as a category is essentially under 1.

The top 10% of VC funds perform far better, with Sharpe ratios higher than 3, but you can never know for sure what that upper decile is before the fact. There are three main reasons venture capital overall still makes sense.
2020-03-29 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7222, Raw Interest Score: 1.6944,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2222, Negative Sentiment 0.1389

Take Your Machine Learning Models To Production With These 5 Simple Steps

Creating a great machine learning system is an art. There are a lot of things to consider while building a great machine learning system. But often it happens that we as data scientists only worry about certain parts of the project. But do we ever think about how we will deploy our models once we have them? I have seen a lot of ML projects, and a lot of them are doomed to fail as they don’t have a set plan for production from the onset.

This post is about the process requirements for a successful ML project — One that goes to production.

2020-03-31 14:46:26+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.5986, Raw Interest Score: 1.5246,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3401, Negative Sentiment 0.1525

Dolt Use Cases

Dolt is Git for data. Instead of versioning files, Dolt versions tables. DoltHub is a place on the internet to share Dolt repositories. As far as we can tell, Dolt is the only database with branches. How would you use such a thing?

One of the hard things about getting adoption of Dolt is that it is a generally useful tool, not a specifically useful tool. In other words, Dolt can be used for a number of different tasks. This is a strength long-term but a bit of a detriment short-term. We need to find the use case that drives Dolt and DoltHub adoption now or we won’t be able to stick around long enough to see Dolt and DoltHub in action for all the use cases we can imagine.

This document describes some of our ideas about how Dolt can be used. We’ve ordered the document from most to least ready. Towards the bottom of the list, Dolt is missing some functionality that must be built. The list is not exhaustive. If you have a killer use case, please let me know at tim@liquidata.co.

2020-03-30 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3849, Raw Interest Score: 1.2341,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3017, Negative Sentiment 0.1234

Significance of Big Data Testing in Today’s Business Environment

Data has become the most significant asset for any organization, and thus it’s very difficult for companies and firms to survive viably without data and the right data analysis techniques. Big data is collected from multiple sources and is capable of revealing valuable information. This is why every organization is keen to deploy the right techniques to collect, store, analyze, and test big data. Hadoop has also been gaining in prominence at the enterprise-level.

Data can be termed as a single source asset for any destination and is the crux and foundation for all companies to strive through today’s business environment. Big data serves as the prime source to feed and curb this hunger. This is why every organization is looking forward to deploying data analytics and sustaining techniques to analyze and test big data.

What is Big Data Testing? : Big data testing is characterized as the proper examination of big data applications. There are enormous data sets that can’t be handled utilizing conventional computing systems. Testing of these data sets includes different instruments, systems, and structures to process. Big data identifies with information creation, stockpiling, recovery, and examination that is wonderful as far as volume, variety, and velocity.
2020-04-01 07:30:45+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3834, Raw Interest Score: 1.3092,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1678, Negative Sentiment 0.1678

Attend this Webinar to know why demand for Data Scientists will increase post COVID19 crisis

As we face what may be the most significant medical crisis of our times with the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be staring at yet another global recession. But in this grim scenario, data and analytics have emerged as a job saver for those entering the workforce and employees armed with experience.

With in-demand skills such as data science, robotic process automation and AI coming to the fore, the IT majors are re-evaluating the organization structure. Automation is lopping off lower-end jobs and projects have geared towards outcome-based results. According to a PwC report, organizations are putting their might behind Data Science, followed by Business Intelligence, Computer Vision, speech recognition among others.

Analytics India Magazine in association with Praxis Business School is organising a webinar to help you understand how the post COVID19 world is going to need more data scientists than ever before and how do you ensure you are one of them?

2020-03-31 14:03:21+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.2740, Raw Interest Score: 1.2055,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1096, Negative Sentiment 0.0822

Security visualization service Amazon Detective launches in general availability

Amazon today announced that Amazon Detective, a service that automatically collates data from customers’ Amazon Web Services (AWS) resources and taps AI, statistical analysis, and graph theory to build a data set for cybersecurity investigations, is now generally available following a preview. It’s designed to help suss out the root cause of findings while eliminating the need to collect logs from separate data sources, a desirable goal in light of the fact that data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records in the first six months of 2019, according to Risk Based Security.

Amazon Detective analyzes trillions of events from multiple data sources including IP traffic, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Flow Logs, AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon GuardDuty to generate an interactive view of resources, users, and the interactions between them over time. Within this view, which is continuously updated as new data becomes available, admins can see the details in one place to identify the underlying reasons for malicious activity, drill down into relevant historical activities, and determine the root cause.

2020-03-31 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.2388, Raw Interest Score: 1.1735,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0711, Negative Sentiment 0.2845

Things Look Grim For Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ZBH) After Today’s Downgrade

Market forces rained on the parade of Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ZBH) shareholders today, when the analysts downgraded their forecasts for this year. Revenue and earnings per share (EPS) forecasts were both revised downwards, with analysts seeing grey clouds on the horizon.

After the downgrade, the consensus from Zimmer Biomet Holdings’ 26 analysts is for revenues of US$6.4b in 2020, which would reflect a substantial 20% decline in sales…
2020-03-31 22:03:20+11:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.1894, Raw Interest Score: 1.1501,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0000, Negative Sentiment 0.4929

Attend the 3rd edition of Online Data Science Masterclass

Analytics India Magazine in association with ISB Institute of Data Science is organising the third series of Online Masterclass on Data Science on 11th April 2020 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM.

This is a free Masterclass session and is exclusively organised for working professionals, AI, Data Science & Analytics enthusiast and to all those who want to understand if Data Science is the right career choice for them.

The session will be delivered by top Industry leaders from Analytics and Data Science domain as well as Academia. During the session, the speakers will talk you on what are the latest developments in the world on Data Sciences and upraise you on the outlook that their respective industry. They will also explain few data science concepts and talk about their journey in data science and explain what it takes for one to excel or begin their journey in the field of data science.

2020-03-30 14:22:29+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.1199, Raw Interest Score: 1.0965,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0731, Negative Sentiment 0.0731


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