Alternative Data News. 20, May 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.


Google Trends Data suggests Students taking AP Physics Test (4pm May 14th 2020) at home were Googling the answers…

CloudQuant Thoughts : Caught by Data Science! Found on DataIsBeautiful on Reddit. Some of the comments suggest that AP bult the test in the knowledge that students would/could use Google.

Bloomberg upgrades data service with ‘click-to-buy’ function

Bloomberg has made several upgrades to its data website, Enterprise Access Point, to provide its Data License clients with more easily accessible content.

The upgrade is in response to client demand for ‘application-ready’ data that is immediately useable, which Bloomberg said it has attempted to meet with two new features, data marketplace and dataset creator.

Data marketplace allows for self-service access to Data License content with click-to-buy functionality, while the dataset creator tool for business analysts and developers allows users to customise and subscribe to the data they receive through Enterprise Access Point. Both services are cloud technology ready, accessible via a web-based API and can be integrated with client systems and technology strategies.

2020-05-14 Read the full story…

CloudQuant Thoughts : A traditional Bloomberg machine has a limit on how much data you can pull per month. They have Excel plugins and APIs but this cloud based ‘click to buy’ and ‘application-ready’ data is a new and interesting development.

Reducing AI bias with Synthetic data

Generate artificial records to balance biased datasets and improve overall model accuracy. In this post, we are going to explore using synthetic data to augment a popular health dataset on Kaggle, and then train AI and ML models that perform and generalize better, while reducing algorithmic bias.

The Heart Disease dataset published by University of California Irvine is one of the top 5 datasets on the data science competition site Kaggle, with 9 data science tasks listed and 1,014+ notebook kernels created by data scientists. It is a series of health 14 attributes and is labeled with whether the patient had a heart disease or not, making it a great dataset for prediction.

A quick look at the dataset shows that male patient records account for 68% of the overall dataset, with female patient records at only 32%. With a 2 to 1 ratio of male to female patients, this could result in algorithms trained on the dataset over-indexing on male symptoms and performing poor diagnoses for female patients. There is no substitute for having an equal representation of groups in training data, especially with Healthcare. In absence of that, how do we reduce biases in our input data as much as possible?

“By augmenting the training set with synthetic records, can we reduce the gender bias and improve ML accuracy?”

2020-05-18 18:48:48.722000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 6.3218, Raw Interest Score: 1.9101,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2874, Negative Sentiment 0.1014

CloudQuant Thoughts : Synthetic Data is very interesting if you can create it, it requires a DNN to learn the patterns in your normal data and then create synthetic versions, like the synthetic human images created by Nvidea. See this video for more info.


Environmental Social and Governanace (ESG) section

CloudQuant has ESG data available together with a White Paper confirming its efficacy. We also make the Python Code available and it can be run on the original data in our backtester. See our Data Catalog for more information.

Sustainable Funds Have Inflows Amid Pandemic

Environmental, social and governance funds had inflows of $45.6bn (€42.1bn) in the first quarter of this year while the overall fund universe had global outflows of $384.7bn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest Morningstar Global Sustainable Fund Flows Report said total assets in sustainable funds were $841bn at the end of March, down 12% from the record $960bn at the end of last year while assets in the wider fund universe fell 18%.

Hortense Bioy, director of passive funds and sustainability research in Europe at Morningstar, said in the report that Europe had 76% of sustainable funds and 81% of assets.

2020-05-13 18:24:35+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.1318, Raw Interest Score: 2.1960,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1849, Negative Sentiment 0.1387

Nasdaq Expands Outside Market Data in Europe

Nordea is the first client to sign up to the Nasdaq ESG Footprint as the US exchange group looks to expand its provision of data outside its traditional market data offering in Europe. James McKeone, head of European data at Nasdaq, told Markets Media that Nordea will white label the Nasdaq ESG Footprint to provide a dashboard which will allow the bank’s clients to track the environmental, social, and governance impact of both their portfolios and individual securities based on specified parameters such as water usage or greenhouse emissions.

Anders Langworth, head of sustainable finance at Nordea, said in a statement: “We believe the sustainability footprint overview will help our customers to better understand what sustainability means in relation to investments, so that the importance of making sustainable choices becomes more evident. The collaboration with Nasdaq is an important milestone in the continuous work on being more transparent and better in explaining the connection between sustainability and investments.”
2020-05-15 17:34:06+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.7311, Raw Interest Score: 1.7322,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1034, Negative Sentiment 0.0259

New BlackRock research points to ESG resilience during coronavirus downturn

As sustainable investing and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) trends continue to soar among hedge funds, new research by BlackRock suggests a majority of ESG-tilted investment portfolios have outperformed non-sustainable counterparts during this year’s coronavirus-fuelled downturn.

In a wide-ranging new report, ‘Sustainable Investing: Resilience amid Uncertainty’, BlackRock explored the performance differences between ESG indices and their core, non-ESG v…
2020-05-19 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.6871, Raw Interest Score: 2.1995,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3928, Negative Sentiment 0.2357

Institutional Investors Focus Capital on Global Problems: Natixis

Ninety-six percent of institutional investors in a survey released Tuesday by Natixis Investment Managers said their organizations had an important role to play in addressing global challenges, such as climate change, social and economic inequality and the need for infrastructure development.

Six in ten said they would be likelier to invest in projects that helped provide solutions to societal challenges if those projects presented a risk/return profile in line with their portfolios’ long-term goals.
Natixis noted that balancing short-term risks and long-term objectives was a familiar conundrum for institutional investors. Since the 2008 financial crisis, strict liquidity requirements have limited institutions’ investment options while ultra-low interest rates over the past decade have pushed their future obligations higher.

2020-05-19 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.8328, Raw Interest Score: 2.0266,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1930, Negative Sentiment 0.1544

Negative ESG News: An Opportunity To Buy The Dip?

Investing along ethical lines is as old as religion: in medieval times the church forbade certain types of investments and Islamic funds do the same today; more recently the blacklisting of certain stocks by activists in the 60s and 70s due to links with the Vietnam War or nuclear weapons can be seen as the forerunners of modern ESG themes.

Over the last few years there has been a massive resurgence in ESG-investing due to increasing fears about climate change and changes in the demographic profile of investors, and this has led to record high inflows into sustainable funds in 2020 even despite the coronavirus crisis.

Overreaction To Negative ESG News. The increased popularity of ethical investing has led many funds to prioritize ESG values, sometimes even above fundamentals, and this is causing market distortions, whilst at the same time providing investors with unique opportunities.

2020-05-19 17:40:38+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9123, Raw Interest Score: 1.3376,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1863, Negative Sentiment 0.5418


Accenture Acquires Byte Prophecy to Enhance AI, Analytics Capabilities

Accenture has acquired big data analytics company Byte Prophecy to meet the growing demand for enterprise-scale AI and digital analytics solutions. Based out of Ahmedabad, the company will improve the IT giant’s capabilities to improve speed and agility of delivering advanced analytics, data and AI solutions to enterprises.

The announcement, which follows a month after its acquisition of cybersecurity startup Revolutionary Security, will add nearly 50 data science and data engineering experts to Accenture’s Applied Intelligence team to help clients in emerging markets scale AI.

“Decision making has become more complex across industries, and businesses are increasingly relying on advanced analytics and AI to ensure insight-driven decision making,” said Accenture’s Piyush N Singh, in a statement. “With this acquisition, we have found a partner with the right mix of technology and consulting skills, and a client-centric innovation culture,” he added.
2020-05-18 06:44:48+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.4053, Raw Interest Score: 1.6992,
Positive Sentiment: 0.6923, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

Infogix Enhances Data360 with Streaming Data Quality Capabilities

A recent press release reports, “Infogix, a leading provider of data management tools, today announced major upgrades to its highly-regarded Data360® data intelligence platform to help users validate the quality of streaming data and break down cross-departmental communication barriers with a new interactive browser. Data360, Infogix’s integrated data intelligence platform with automated capabilities for data governance, data quality and data analytics, consumes and outputs Apache Kafka® messages in real-time, reconciling information between systems, applying data quality logic to streaming messages and quickly validating streaming messages to deliver high-quality data that users trust. As streaming messaging systems, like Apache Kafka, communicate changes to data in real-time, organizations require end-to-end data validation to maximize the speed and scale of streaming platforms.”
2020-05-19 07:05:12+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.1294, Raw Interest Score: 2.2886,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2985, Negative Sentiment 0.3483

Data Engineer, Data Science and Data Analyst — What the Difference?

“Data is the new oil!”  The sentence you may have heard many times. The statement is arguably true, for example in ancient times oil was the world’s most valuable resource. It was the key functionality of everything from the government to local companies. Without it, progress will stop and the economy will shrink.

Fast forward to 21 century, some of the world’s most valuable companies such as Google, Facebook, or Amazon base their entire business on the effective processing of personal data. Personal data is said to be the hottest commodity on the market in today’s network society. For example, the controversy by Cambridge Analytica who worked with Donald Trump’s election team was harvesting data on 50 million Facebook profiles to become an advertising campaign that could help swing the election. We could say that if you have data, you can rule the world.

Today, many companies are aware of the usefulness of data, from getting data until processing data to produce information that companies needed. So that comes the professions that are specifically related to data. So that comes the profession that is specifically related to data and I will discuss some of them. So these are the professions related to data:

2020-05-19 14:25:41.395000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.0000, Raw Interest Score: 2.0868,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2108, Negative Sentiment 0.1686

CLS Launches Analysis of FX Market Liquidity

Liquidity in the foreign exchange markets is returning to pre-COVID-19 levels for some of the G10 currencies, but emerging markets are not faring as well. These are the findings of FXLIQUIDITY, a new service created by Mosaic Smart Data, the real-time capital markets data analytics company, in collaboration with CLS, a market infrastructure group delivering settlement, processing and data solutions, and MUFG.

Analysis of FX market liquidity data was carried out from 1st June 2019 to 20th February 2020 to set a pre-COVID-19 base line. The data was compared to corresponding data from the 21st February to 20th March (COVID-19 peak), as well as more recent data from 18th April to 10th May. The data indicates that liquidity is now improving, but not in all currencies and not consistently throughout the day.
2020-05-18 09:56:01+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.6611, Raw Interest Score: 1.6018,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3789, Negative Sentiment 0.1895

What Do You Need To Do Before Hiring A Data Scientist?

Artificial Intelligence brings a promise of exponential growth and taking your business to new heights. No wonder there is a lot of excitement around the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Many companies are rushing to hire their first Data Scientist or build a Data Science team right off the bat. Their enthusiasm is understandable as they want to innovate with data and not be out-competed by the market. However, these early missteps and false starts are causing a massive opportunity cost to companies, and Data Scientists are moving on from these companies within just a couple of years.

Here are some recommendations for you to prepare before investing in Data Science function at your company.

2020-05-12 15:09:06+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.2863, Raw Interest Score: 1.8285,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1441, Negative Sentiment 0.2660

Video Game Stocks Could Test Bull Market Highs

Video game software companies have shaken off pandemic selling pressure and are trading relatively close to bull market highs posted in 2018, with stay-at-home orders around the world giving the gaming industry a much-needed boost. The scheduled introduction of a new generation of gaming consoles in the fourth quarter has underpinned this uptick as well, adding to buying pressure after a long period of apathy.

The NPD research firm reported that spending on video game hardware, software, accessories, and cards rose an impressive 35% year over year in March 2020 to $1.6 billion. This contrasts with January and February declines of 26% and 29%, respectively, highlighting the positive impact of home-bound workers with plenty of time on their hands. Even consoles saw a huge jump in sales even though current versions are nearing end-of-life.

Some doubts were raised about console release dates in the first quarter, with the pandemic putting a lid on software developer conferences and trade shows that are needed to ensure a deep catalog of new games. However, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and Sony Corporation (SNE) have held their ground, promoting launches for the XBox Series X and PlayStation 5 in November or December, just in time for the 2020 holiday season.
2020-05-13 14:16:53.072000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.8015, Raw Interest Score: 1.4737,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1902, Negative Sentiment 0.2377

Best Practices For Businesses To Adopt Artificial Intelligence Amid Crisis

The dependency on automation has accelerated due to COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore companies are relying on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to have business continuity amid this crisis. AI and ML are not only transforming the way businesses operate, but also providing a massive opportunity for companies to gain a competitive advantage.

However, due to several reasons – like lack of skilled talent and budget, along with an understanding of newer technologies – have created a host of barriers for enterprises to smoothly adopt artificial intelligence and machine learning for their organisations. In fact, according to a recent survey, approximately 50% of respondents reported that their organisations lack skilled talents to implement real AI. The study further stated that another 21% of respondents believe that their organisations have no aligned technology infrastructure to support advanced AI.

Some of the other challenges mentioned were lack of tools, no access to required data etc. Companies also go through an inner dilemma of introducing artificial intelligence in their organisation, which in turn, acts as a barrier for businesses to leverage the full potential of emerging technologies. In this article, we are going to share a few ways companies can smoothly adopt artificial intelligence and machine learning in their organisation to enhance their business productivity amid this crisis.
2020-05-18 08:30:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7454, Raw Interest Score: 1.6923,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2622, Negative Sentiment 0.3218

Top 8 Resources To Find Data Science Jobs During The Recession

The recent advancements in artificial intelligence have been making a profound impact on businesses and researches amid the recession. The ongoing pandemic is adversely impacting the global economy, with expected record unemployment, business disruption, among others. However, there has been a rise in hiring employees in data science and analytics jobs by organisations. In one of our most recent stories, we discussed why the data science job market is better positioned for recession.

In this article, we list down the top 8 resources where you can find Data Science jobs during the recession.

2020-05-20 08:30:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.6844, Raw Interest Score: 1.9854,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2513, Negative Sentiment 0.2513

With Jobs At Risk, Can A Career In Big Data Keep You Safe?

It is rightly said that data is the new oil. And while the value of the latter fluctuates widely, data will consistently remain a critical asset. This has been indubitably demonstrated as the world collectively battles a deadly viral outbreak.

We may still be months – or years – away from developing a cure, but datasets around the novel coronavirus have helped authorities manage the crisis better and mitigate its impact. Artificial intelligence (AI)-based data analytics and predictive modelling have enabled us to understand the disease better, paving the way for a better response mechanism in the event of another emergency.

And healthcare is not the only sector that can benefit from leveraging big data capabilities. Almost every industry has woken up to the possibilities and future scope that big data and its cohorts can play in improving their bottom line and maximising profits.
2020-05-19 04:30:01+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.5002, Raw Interest Score: 1.4472,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3161, Negative Sentiment 0.2178

Azure Synapse Link anchors Microsoft’s new big data analytics capabilities

During its Build 2020 online developer conference this week, Microsoft announced a number of new and updated products targeting enterprises engaged in big data analytics. The newest product in the company’s portfolio is Azure Synapse Link, which enables data analytics on live operational data and will debut in the coming weeks alongside new Azure Synapse features in preview and Project Cortex. Microsoft will also soon launch autoscale-provisioned throughput for Azure Cosmos DB (which was previously called Autopilot) in general availability, where it will be joined by a small-footprint database engine for edge devices called Azure SQL Edge.

As of 2017, big data had been adopted by 53% of companies, according to a survey conducted by Dresner Advisory Services. The benefits can be substantial, with early adopters reporting 8% to 10% increases in profit and 10% reductions in overall costs. But it’s a challenge making big data standard practice; a majority of organizations peg inadequate know-how as the cause of implementation delays and failures.

Microsoft’s tools aim to automate some of the most arduous big data processes while enabling customers to tailor parameters to various use cases.
2020-05-19 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4973, Raw Interest Score: 1.5598,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1068, Negative Sentiment 0.1068

The ‘Don’t Worry, Make Money’ Strategy Trouncing The Stock Market By 30 Percentage Points

Scottish money manager Baillie Gifford has $245 billion, a positive attitude — and 112 years of experience with booms, panics and pandemics.

When analysts and portfolio managers pitch ideas at Edinburgh, Scotland, investment firm Baillie Gifford, there’s one rule everyone must follow. For the first 20 minutes, anyone speaking about the idea has to be positive, contributing only to the bullish case for the stock. Say anything critical and you’re swiftly escorted from the room.

The optimism rule is designed to thwart what the partners believe is a natural tendency for smart people to be skeptical and shoot down ideas prematurely. But these days the rule takes on even more meaning as despair over the pandemic spreads. Like nearly everyone in the Western world, the firm’s 1,317 employees are no longer able to congregate at its headquarters, where an imposing sign over the entrance reads “ACTUAL INVESTORS THINK IN DECADES. NOT QUARTERS.”

2020-05-19 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4398, Raw Interest Score: 1.2646,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2749, Negative Sentiment 0.2639

Python Certifications: 4 Big Questions Answered

Are Python certifications worth obtaining? Python is one of the most widely used programming languages on Earth. Not only is it a popular “generalist” language, but it has crept steadily into highly specialized segments—for example, it’s overtaken R as the data-science language of choice for many companies.

In other words, those interested in Python development can find lots of opportunity to use their skills. But is a certification necessary for a career in Python-related development? That’s a trickier question to answer.

At the moment, Python developers are in high demand. Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, projects that Python developer jobs will grow 30.7 percent over the next decade. Currently, time-to-fill open Python developer positions is 38 days, indicating that employers are expending a lot of time and effort to find available candidates.

For Python developers, this is good news. The median salary for these technologists (again, according to Burning Glass) is $99,811 per year. To land a development job and that level of compensation, however, you’ll need to prove you have the right mix of abilities and experience.

2020-05-18 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3942, Raw Interest Score: 1.4536,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1283, Negative Sentiment 0.1069

How APIs can help families plan their finances

Data modelling and machine learning (ML) offers a tantalising possibility – that by gathering enough data inputs you can predict what will happen in the future based on current information. ML models are commonly used in the context of business decisions, such as assessing investment outcomes or growth performance, where they can add significant value.

They’re rarely used in the realm of human experience for two main reasons. Firstly, humans are famously irrational and hard to predict using the few data points available. Secondly, the cost of traditional data modelling means that it only makes economic sense in a business context.

But easy-access APIs are changing both of these to provide more data and to improve model accuracy. To see why, we’re going to talk about babies.

2020-05-11 16:19:20 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3885, Raw Interest Score: 1.4874,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1463, Negative Sentiment 0.2195

The Impact Of Data Scientists Returning To India

Companies in the US have been on the layoff spree during the pandemic. Among the prominent ones, we have witnessed thousands of layoffs in companies such as Lyft, Airbnb and Uber just in the last week or so. According to reports, there are hundreds of thousands of Indian technologists currently stranded in America amid mass layoffs. While their grace periods period has been extended by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, without a job those professionals have to leave the country.

More than 30 million jobs in the US have been lost since April due to COVID19 pandemic. Plus, the US government announced that the US government is going to temporarily suspend the H-1B visa program for protecting domestic jobs amid record-high unemployment in the US.

There was an immense pressure on the US government to suspend foreign worker visas for at least a year or at until unemployment rates return to normal levels. A Majority of Indian workers come under the purview of H-1B visa. This means that the suspension of the H-1B visa means hundreds of thousands of Indian workers in the US may remain without jobs, the majority of whom may be soon heading back to India.
2020-05-19 11:30:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3698, Raw Interest Score: 1.5086,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2155, Negative Sentiment 0.4310


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