Alternative Data News. 02, September 2020

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.


Boeing 747 Production and Delivery History From 1969

The 8 minute video shows all 1,560+ Boeing 747s built since 1969.  The paths shown on the map are not the actual flight paths. For clarity, the most direct on-screen route between the Boeing Everett Factory and the customer’s home country was used. For example, deliveries to the Asia-Pacific region would often fly in the opposite direction (across the Pacific instead of over Africa). Using the most direct on-screen paths avoids cases where paths go off the edge of the screen and re-emerge elsewhere. Polar routes were also avoided for the same reason.

Additionally, the map shows the customers’ home airport as the delivery destination. Actual delivery destinations would have been based on the airlines’ first planned revenue flight for each aircraft, however this was beyond the scope of this animation.

Tools : Python, Blender 2.8

Sources : The detailed delivery history for every 747 built was found here. The world map geography used in the animation was found here

2020-08-30 Read the full story…

CloudQuant Thoughts : Remember, getting the Alternative Data is the first step, having the skill extract its value is another step, but possibly the most important skill is being able to communicate its value in a clear and interesting manner.

SBA Loans Map

After a month, a Vice article, and a $1.2k bill from traffic to the site, I have now finished building a dashboard which maps 600,000 COVID-19 Paycheck Protection loans. See which businesses in your neighborhood were able to get funding and which were not. After a couple weeks of mapping addresses to latitudes and longitudes, and a couple more weeks of optimizing the dashboard, I’m now ready to share what I consider a somewhat finished project. Because it’s been so long since I first posted about this project, I’ll give you guys a refresher on the dashboard.

Background : The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

Motivation : I wanted to give you guys the ability to see which businesses in your neighborhood are receiving loans and which are not. I figured the best way to do this was to geocode the latitudes and longitudes from all the loans, and map them out.

Data : I am using the SBA’s recently released Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level database. Specifically, I am using the dataset of loans over 150k.

Results : I am in the process of assigning locations to the over 600,000 loans in the dataset. This is a slow process (as I have been respectful of the rate-limit on the reverse geocoding API in use), but I have finished mapping all of the loans from 9 states and hope to complete the other 41 by the end of this week. I plan on posting updates to the map approximately every 8 hours.

I am aware that there are some errors in the geocoding (I don’t think there should be any points in Canada) but I believe the vast majority of points are placed correctly.

Features : You can filter the dashboard by business type, by clicking entries on the legend on the right. The points in the map are sized based on loan amount. If you hover over data points, you can see the name of the business assigned to this point, as well as the amount they received in their loan.

Tools : Python, Geopy, Nominatim, OpenStreetMap

2020-08-30 Read the full story…

CloudQuant Thoughts : Another great Reddit “data is beautiful” post by QuiverQuant. They finally finished their SBA loan map, it obviously took them a long time and a lot of effort but the outcome is impressive. If you cannot get to the site you can always hit their twitter account.

Real Estate and Big Data: A Match Made in Heaven?

It’s easy to draw correlations between big data and certain areas of the business world. For example, it makes sense that a tech company would leverage big data, or that a software company would use it to develop a cutting edge SaaS offering. But in real estate, does big data really have a place at the table? Those inside the industry would say yes – and resoundingly so!

Big Data’s Role in Real Estate
Over the past 10 years, big data has played an increasingly important role in the real estate industry. Some of these influences can be clearly seen, while others fly beneath the radar. Let’s take a closer look at some of these interactions and what they mean for those inside the industry:

  1. Smarter Decision Making
  2. Improves Tenant Selection
  3. Stitch Together Data
  4. Automated Valuation Computations

2020-08-30 11:04:41+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7722, Raw Interest Score: 1.4974,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3238, Negative Sentiment 0.0405

CloudQuant Thoughts : If I were in the Real Estate business, with AI’s current bad press around racial bias, I would not be rushing to use it to help “determine a renter’s likelihood of being a good tenant.”

Data Scientist: One Tech Role Immune From COVID-19?

If there’s a candidate with a skillset that can be sold to multiple employers in multiple sectors in late 2020, irrespective of COVID-19, it is the person with an elite education in data science and proven experience of extracting lucrative insights from real-world datasets. As a recruiter or a hiring manager, if you can find even one such data master, it is tantamount to hitting the jackpot. As a candidate who fits this description, you have the pick of employers.

This is especially true in banking and finance IT, where data scientists are present throughout organizations, from trading and research to HR. Data scientists are involved in everything from management decisions to cutting-edge machine learning projects.

But not all data scientists are made the same. The latest data science salary survey from recruitment firm Harnham puts entry-level data science salaries as low as £46,000 in the U.K. and $110,000 (for a data engineer) in the U.S.. By comparison, hedge funds can pay salaries as high as $200,000, but only for alpha generating data scientists at the top of their field. Dice’s own analysis of data-scientist salaries has shown a range of anywhere from $91,000 to roughly $170,000, depending on roles, experience and education; but such compensation can increase radically with specialization.

2020-08-26 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.1737, Raw Interest Score: 2.0880,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1975, Negative Sentiment 0.0564

CloudQuant Thoughts : A little too journalistic to use the word immune but it is a positive for those of us in this industry that Data Science roles are surviving during the Covid downturn.

upGrad Witnessed A 40% Rise In Data Science Enrolments

While the concept of online learning has been prevalent in the field of data science, the recently enforced lockdown has provided new momentum to the whole ed-tech space. The data professionals across industries are now looking at online learning programs not only to stay updated with their skills and knowledge but also to keep up their relevance post the COVID crisis. This has led to a spike in the number of learners on edtech platforms. In fact, upGrad, India’s largest online higher education company, has witnessed a 40% rise in data science enrolments amid this lockdown.

This surge can be attributed to the fact that despite the challenges due to COVID, the demand for data science and analytics across industries has increased. College students and fresh graduates are thus noticing more potential in this field and therefore looking to pursue data science as a career.
2020-08-27 10:01:22+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.2596, Raw Interest Score: 1.4643,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2759, Negative Sentiment 0.0424

CloudQuant Thoughts : And it follows that if an industry is escaping the negatives of a downturn it will attract new people into the fold.


ESG Section

FIs to increase focus on climate risk management

The pressure is on for financial institutions (FIs) to adopt climate risk models as regulators and shareholders zero in on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

“[Climate risk assessment] is absolutely going to be required to be done, but we’re seeing the banks moving faster and more proactively because they believe in the commercial case as well, and they’re getting pressure from their shareholders,” says Colin Preston, head of financial services and climate change lead, Baringa Partners.

2020-08-26 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9499, Raw Interest Score: 1.6857,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1239, Negative Sentiment 0.1735

How Advisers Can Help Clients Integrate ESG Factors

Advisers can help those interested in ESG investing implement the strategy as part of their portfolio.

The concept of ESG investing — with ESG standing for environmental, social and governance factors — has come to the forefront in recent years as a set of metrics by which to gauge individual companies, as well as investments in mutual funds and ETFs. Does ESG investing make sense for your clients?

Investors sometimes confuse ESG and socially responsible investing (SRI). SRI typically involves screening companies to ensure they don’t engage in activities that might be offensive to groups of investors. These could include things like tobacco or gambling, for example.

The goal is to ensure that companies engage in these or other prohibited activities or lines of business are excluded from investor portfolios. SRI investing can be done by picking individual stocks, or via ETFs and mutual funds that are designed around avoiding companies engaging in certain business activities.

2020-08-31 11:00:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.5153, Raw Interest Score: 1.3328,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0874, Negative Sentiment 0.2403

CloudQuant Thoughts : If you are looking for ESG date relating to US Equities then head over to our Data Catalog where we have a very interesting Alternative Data set with white papers and code to demostrate its effectiveness.


How to land a 6-figure coding job at a tech company like Apple or Google without a college degree

Tech executives share their best advice for teaching yourself to code, showcasing your skills, and nailing a technical interview.

Jobs in tech are still booming – and you can land many without a degree.

Some tech recruiters disregard college credentials when looking to hire new talent. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that colleges “are not for learning,” but rather environments for students to have fun. Instead, Musk emphasized the amount of online free resources open to people hoping to gain skills. And tech companies from Apple to Google to Netflix don’t require employees to have four-year degrees, either.

When Jay Wengrow, web developer and founder of coding bootcamp Actualize, was involved in hiring at previous tech companies, college degrees were barely even a consideration.

“Of the people we hired, I have no idea who had a degree or not,” Wengrow told Forbes. “It was such a minimal factor. If we liked them and thought they were cool and they wrote good-quality code, that’s all that mattered.”

2020-09-01 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.6321, Raw Interest Score: 1.0928,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2838, Negative Sentiment 0.1419

Netflix: Top 15 Technology Skills and 10 Jobs It Wants

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, and millions of people began self-isolating at home, Netflix found itself in a peculiar position. On one hand, demand for its streaming shows and movies spiked. On the other, it faced the same difficulties of any other company during these weird times: namely, managing a remote workforce while trying to maintain its tech stack and deliver its services under extreme circumstances.

That Netflix succeeded without many public-facing hitches is, of course, a testament to the company’s focus on cutting-edge technology. If you’re a longtime reader of Netflix’s engineering blog (and if you’re interested in anything related to the cloud, handling massive amounts of data, and streaming technology, you should be), you know that the company’s engineering core is extraordinarily innovative when it comes to everything from machine learning to making its data infrastructure as cost-efficient as possible.
2020-08-31 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.8868, Raw Interest Score: 1.2596,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1369, Negative Sentiment 0.1643

Backed by $12.5M in federal funding, Univ. of Washington leads new data science institute

With $12.5 million in federal funding, the University of Washington will lead a cohort of institutions tackling foundational challenges in the field of data science.

The University of Washington is teaming up with interdisciplinary researchers from University Wisconsin-Madison, University California-Santa Cruz and University of Chicago to form the Institute for Foundations of Data Science (IFDS). The effort will be led by Maryam Fazel, a UW electrical and computer engineering professor.

The institute marks the culmination of three years of work supported by the National Science Foundation as part of its Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science, or TRIPODS, program. The effort is part of the NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution Big Idea project.

2020-09-01 23:59:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.3509, Raw Interest Score: 1.5326,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2395, Negative Sentiment 0.2874

Salesforce cuts 1k jobs, including some at Tableau, vows to keep hiring while ‘reshaping’ company

Salesforce is cutting jobs after reporting record earnings, creating “shocked disbelief” inside the company, one newly laid-off Seattle employee tells GeekWire. The cuts, announced internally on Tuesday and Wednesday, involve about 1,000 jobs, or 1.8% of Salesforce’s workforce, according to Bloomberg News and CNBC.

Current and former employees say the layoffs include an unknown number of employees at Seattle-based data visualization company Tableau Software, which was acquired by the San Francisco-based customer relationship management and cloud technology company a year ago for $15.7 billion.

“We’ve had to make tough decisions when it comes to allocating resources and reshaping the company around our strategic growth areas to continue our momentum into the second half and beyond,” wrote Marc Benioff, the Salesforce co-CEO and co-founder, in an internal memo to employees, without explicitly referencing the job cuts.
2020-08-26 21:13:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.0652, Raw Interest Score: 1.1002,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0772, Negative Sentiment 0.2702

Rotterdam School of Management – Digital Analysis Course

Are you drowning in data? Do you feel your department is falling behind in collecting, analysing, and using data? Do you want to create new value streams for your organisation from internal and external data? If you need data management methods, tools and strategies to optimise performance and business intelligence, then this course is for you.

This three-day workshop provides you with the tools needed to manage the enormity of big data through analytics, and teaches you data management strategies to leverage value-adding opportunities, for example through online marketing. You will build a solid understanding of trends and developments, and learn methods to collect, analyse and manage data.

2020-10-05 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 4.6864, Raw Interest Score: 2.4810,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2068, Negative Sentiment 0.0689

What Is The Hiring Process For Data Scientists At Micron

With the core data science group based out of Boise, USA, Micron India team began operations from December 2019 to empower the company’s core engineering, manufacturing and business units to make data-driven decisions that are quick, accurate and insightful. With a centralised structure of the data science team, the company believes that an ideal data science candidate should be a digital-native, who is excited about the potential of data to deliver intelligence.

Koushik Ragavan, Director Data Science at Micron India shares that a strong fundamental grasp of first principles and high levels of competency in applied statistics, computer programming, discrete simulation and database management is a must in the data science candidate.

“We also look for an ability to communicate complex ideas, navigate Micron’s collaborative and multicultural global ecosystem. Original publications and patents will always get you to the front of the line for an experienced professional, and a great attitude with an ability to upskill quickly are key attributes we look for in a campus hire,” he added.

2020-09-02 08:30:33+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.8083, Raw Interest Score: 1.1528,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3165, Negative Sentiment 0.1356

Unify Data Governance with Data Architecture

Think of an organization trying to create a single understanding of the information of the organization and the instances of that data around its estate. Consider different groups of people contributing to and using this model from different perspectives and varying reasons. And view this in the context of Data Governance, Data Architecture or Business Intelligence. A seemingly simple task becomes as complicated as six blind men building a model of an elephant. Each blind man has a different perspective of the elephant. This is similar to stakeholders and staff, scattered across the organization, having different conceptions and implementations of Data Governance.

As a result, many organizations end up with silos of knowledge that are fundamentally different, owned by different groups and used for different purposes. This presents risk and cost to an organization where Data Governance is important. The data architect is located at the center of this and often has the most mature and detailed view of information and data. However, data architects struggle to unite the silos and the teams involved.

2020-08-25 07:35:17+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.1000, Raw Interest Score: 1.7851,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1380, Negative Sentiment 0.1012

Why Alteryx Stock Plunged 31% Last Month

Shares of Alteryx (NYSE:AYX) took a dive last month, after the data analytics software provider posted disappointing results in its second-quarter earnings report, including guidance calling for sharply lower revenue growth in the second half of the year. As a result, the stock finished August down 31%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

As the chart below shows, nearly all of those losses came on Aug. 7, after the earnings report came out.

CEO Dean Stoecker said, “While we experienced a slowdown in the second quarter driven by the global impact of COVID-19, we believe that the global opportunity for analytics and automation solutions remains significant, and we believe Alteryx remains well positioned as a leader in the space.”

2020-09-01 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.5963, Raw Interest Score: 1.7893,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1627, Negative Sentiment 0.4067

Growth-Mode Digital Strategy: Modernize And Transform

“Digital transformation” is overused, overhyped, and open to broad interpretation. Is transformation still relevant in a post-COVID world? I believe it is but only when mixed with a healthy dose of pragmatic digital modernization. Which strategy — modernize or transform — will depend on your firm’s digital maturity and economic situation.

My last post highlights the need for firms in survival mode to focus digital strategy on pragmatic modernization. But what about firms looking beyond the global pandemic? Growth-mode digital strategy must combine digital modernization with digital transformation to accelerate growth.
2020-08-26 00:20:41-04:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3381, Raw Interest Score: 1.6986,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1799, Negative Sentiment 0.0400

Deep Learning DevCon 2020: Association of Data Scientists Launches It’s Latest Virtual Conference

The Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci), the premier global professional body of data science & machine learning professionals, announces the launch of Deep Learning DevCon 2020 (DLDC).

The Deep Learning conference of the year, DLDC is a leading virtual conference exclusively for deep learning practitioners across the world. The 2-day virtual conference will be held on 29th and 30th October bringing influential people in the deep learning domain on a single platform.

Over the years, deep learning has become a crucial subarea of the artificial intelligence and machine learning domain with many exciting use cases that have been explored in various industries. Deep learning models are dominating in a variety of applications and have outperformed the classical machine learning models in many ways.
2020-08-26 05:40:18+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.1217, Raw Interest Score: 1.9269,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3613, Negative Sentiment 0.0401

Data Driven Insights For A Holistic Digital And Print Marketing Campaign

At Smart Data Collective, we have talked extensively about the benefits of big data in digital marketing. We have focused a lot on using data analytics for SEO.

However, there are a lot of other benefits of using big data in marketing. You shouldn’t limit yourself to using data analytics in your SEO strategy. You should find ways to use big data to merge your digital and offline marketing strategies.

How Data Driven Marketing Should Be Adapted to Both Digital and Offline Approaches : The internet offers many benefits to the modern business, but among the most fundamental is its ability to spread a message. Through social media, we can get in touch with our would-be customers, start a dialogue, and thereby become visible on countless devices. Big data developments have heightened these benefits.

2020-09-01 00:25:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 1.8742, Raw Interest Score: 1.0040,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1562, Negative Sentiment 0.0223

Proposed Market Data Infrastructure Regulation And Anticipated Impact

In February 2020, the SEC proposed the Market Data Infrastructure rule1 which aimed to enhance the availability and usefulness of National Market System (NMS) information, for a wide variety of participants; as well as help reduce information asymmetries between market participants who rely upon current Security Information Processor (SIP) data, and those who use the proprietary data feeds from the national securities exchanges.

The proposed rule from the SEC covers,

  1. redefining the content of the consolidated feed;
  2. decentralization of the consolidation model, and
  3. governance improvements

2020-08-25 09:55:25+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.7723, Raw Interest Score: 1.6541,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2128, Negative Sentiment 0.0755


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