Alternative Data News. 07, October 2020

Alternative Data Newsletter

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.


Manchester United is one of the only publicly traded sports organizations.
Here is how their performance on the pitch correlates with their performance in the stock market.

Data Source: Yahoo FinancePremier League Results
Tools: Python

I run an investment data site, and I made this visualization as part of my analysis of $MANU.

I also track companies’ Twitter followers and Manchester United has the 4th most followers out of all publicly traded companies.

Note: Here’s a description of Elo Rating for those who are unfamiliar

Almost all sports teams are privately held. Manchester United is a rare exception in that you can buy stock in the organization through the ticker $MANU. Your returns on that stock would obviously be based on the team’s financial success, but financial success is clearly at least somewhat dependent on how the team is playing.

Today, Manchester United suffered an embarrassing 1-6 defeat at the hand of the Tottenham Hotspurs. We’ll need to wait till markets open on Monday to see the effect this has on the organization’s stock, but we can look at history to get an indication of how the market will react. The last time Manchester United lost to the Spurs at home, their stock dropped almost 20% over the next week.

2020-10-04 00:00:00 Read the full story…

CloudQuant Thoughts : Another very nice DataIsBeautiful post by user u/pdwp90​ who is one of the creative people behind QuiverQuant. “…the Tottenham Hotspurs”! oh you Americans!

CloudQuant Increases Liberator’s Speed & Reach

CloudQuant today rolled out a major update to their industry leading Liberator/Rosetta APIs.

This technical release provides Improved Performance, Error Feedback, and Column Level Filtering to the increasing number of CloudQuant clients using our external API, as well as providing a boost to CloudQuant’s research tools – CQ AI, CQ Mariner, and CQ Explorer.

Our API enables external users to seamlessly integrate Liberator’s Power and Speed into their own environments. CloudQuant’s Liberator and suite of Technological Products dramatically cut the time from data acquisition to profit!

2020-10-04 00:00:00 Read the full story…

CloudQuant Thoughts : Our Liberator API is at the center of our Data Fabric, it provides data to all of our clients and all of our products. As such we are constantly improving it. Liberator’s ability to deliver precise Alternative Data into any user’s platform in a simple and clear manner is a major driver of our goal of dramatically cutting the time it takes to go from Raw Data to Profit. Liberator has also qualified for a Benzinga Award Nomination!

Use Data Empathy to Become a Better Data Scientist

The context of data matters for the success of your data projects

Winston Churchill once said: “I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself”. While this may be an extreme statement, the general idea is true. Data can be — intentionally or not — presented in a way to support arguments that do not reflect reality or the underlying data.The second step of the CRISP-DM model is Data Understanding. This step entails collecting, describing, and exploring data as well as identifying data quality problems. This rough outline of understanding data is useful. But it falls short of naming an important dimension: data empathy.
Descriptions of what data scientists do often focus on hard skills and technical domains. This is in line with the Venn diagram of data science. Data scientists are guided by their domain expertise. With the help of statistical and machine learning models and programming tools, they extract knowledge from data. But often overlooked soft skills — such as communication skills, skepticism, and particularly empathy— play a crucial role in achieving successful data science projects and becoming a better data scientist.
2020-10-07 07:42:50.734000+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.7077, Raw Interest Score: 1.6278,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2035, Negative Sentiment 0.2513

CloudQuant Thoughts : Officially “Data Empathy” is simply understanding the story of a dataset. But it is much wider than this, experience of many datasets combined with your experience of the world will create a unique view of any dataset. Data Empathy can not only help you extract more value from a dataset but can also allow you to create new datasets from old!

On Some Measures, Inflation Is Already Above 2.5%”: Inflationary Lessons From The Used Car Market

“In July and August combined, used-car prices soared by 7.7%”

…on the supply side the two month shutdown in auto production has created a shortage of new cars that spilled over into the used market. In addition, the weak economy is encouraging car owners to delay trading up into a new car. Meanwhile, on the demand side, the COVID crisis has caused people to shy away from public transportation and ride services. These supply and demand shifts have more than offset the increase in supply from rental car companies selling some of their fleet.

As a result, used cars are impacting both inflation and real activity: in July and August combined, used-car prices soared by 7.7%, the biggest two-month increase since 1969. And since used cars and trucks make up 2.75% of the CPI basket, this surge alone has added 0.2% to the overall index, which as BofA notes, is “a lot when inflation is this low.”

2020-10-07 00:00:00 Read the full story…

CloudQuant Thoughts : It would have been extremely difficult to predict how Covid would squeeze the used market from three sides at once.

With Data Sharing, The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

“Mine! Mine! Mine!” Remember the seagulls in the movie “Finding Nemo?” Each one was claiming ownership. Isn’t that so last decade? Regarding data, it fortunately is. There remain some holdouts, of course. But we’re seeing a growing number of firms share their data with partners and customers. And we expect to see the trend accelerate.

Demand For External Data Accelerates : Decision-makers have been telling us for years that their own data can only get them so far. According to the Forrester Analytics Business Technographics® Data And Analytics Survey, 2020, 70% of firms prioritize expanding their ability to source external data. Another 17% say they plan to do so in the next 12 months. That’s up significantly from just a few years ago. As the chief data officer at Flagstar Bank told us, “With our own data, we can only look internally. We need to see industry benchmarks, regional trends, and what waves we can ride on.” Flagstar Bank uses external data to get a more complete view of their customers to reduce churn and to more accurately predict risk to improve their lending practices.
2020-10-05 12:50:47-04:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.1119, Raw Interest Score: 1.5980,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0841, Negative Sentiment 0.0421

CloudQuant Thoughts : If you are looking for alternative data or have data that you would like to market to the financial industry, CloudQuant is here to help. Visit our data catalog to see how we are making it easier for Data Consumers to find Alternative Data or fill out the form to the right to have one of our Team contact you to discuss your needs.


ESG Section

CloudQuant also has Alternative Datasets available via its Data Catalog including an ESG dataset with White Paper analysis and Python Code to reproduce the findings.

A clean energy company now has a market cap rivaling ExxonMobil

The news last week that U.S. utility and renewable energy company NextEra Energy briefly overtook ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco to become the world’s most valuable energy producer shows just how valuable sustainable businesses have become. It’s yet another proof point that there are billions of dollars available for companies focused on renewable energy alone — and a sign that, finally, the floodgates may be about to open for companies that build their businesses to service a sustainability revolution.

Large money managers are already returning to investing in earlier-stage sustainability investments after an extended hiatus. These are institutional investors like the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which could commit billions between them to technologies focused on mitigating the impacts of climate change or reducing greenhouse gas emissions across industries. The flood of dollars into renewable energy and sustainable technologies actually began in the first quarter of the year.

2020-10-06 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.3349, Raw Interest Score: 1.3855,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1953, Negative Sentiment 0.2046

CloudQuant Thoughts : This should not be a surprise and it is only a matter of time before the oil companies are overtaken by renewable energy companies and they know it. That is why they are expanding into the renewable energy market as fast as they can!

Broadridge Research: Active Asset Managers Can Meet Rising Demand with New ESG Solutions

ESG assets in the US expected to reach $300 billion by Q4 2021. Investor interest shifts to best-in-class, thematic and outcome-oriented strategies.

A new report from Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR), a global Fintech leader, reveals a growing investor demand for active managers to introduce new environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds to the market. In the U.S., net flows to long-term responsible funds quadrupled in 2019 to $20 billion, from $5 billion in 2018, and continued to grow during the first half of 2020 to reach $21 billion. A majority (68%) of ESG assets in the U.S. are now in actively managed funds.

Changes in the makeup of the ESG market over the last five years have important implications for asset manager strategies. Since 2015, best-in-class/positive screening, sustainability/thematic and integration/engagement funds have all increased their share within the market. In the same time period, exclusions-based funds have dropped from 36% to 7% of the market. Impact investing funds have remained consistent, at 10% share in 2015 and 8% share in 2020. Similar shifts are occurring within the U.S. market.
2020-09-30 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.8766, Raw Interest Score: 1.8291,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1911, Negative Sentiment 0.0546

ESG Investing Boom Is Bullish For Cleantech

The coronavirus pandemic and devastating forest fires has sparked an uptick in demand for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment strategies, which will accelerate the commercial adoption of more sustainable clean technologies.

The trend toward sustainable investing was already underway prior to the pandemic. According to a report from Morningstar, U.S. assets in sustainable index funds have quadrupled since 2017 and now account for 20% of the total. Analysts have provided a multitude of reasons, from the adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by asset managers to the generational wealth transfer from baby boomers to millennial and Gen X.

What surprised many investors, however, is that ESG funds performed well relative to non-ESG funds during the market correction in mid-March. Fidelity reported that stocks with a better ESG rating still fell between February 19 and March 26, but outperformed the benchmark.

2020-10-01 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4943, Raw Interest Score: 1.3747,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2834, Negative Sentiment 0.1984

XBRL News: Reshaping ESG / sustainability reporting now

Here is our pick of the 3 most important XBRL news stories this week. They’re not narrowly about XBRL, yet – but will be when the development comes to maturity.

Long-time readers of this newsletter will know that one of the major issues holding sustainability reporting back has been the excessive proliferation of confusing and sometimes overlapping disclosure frameworks. As such, the recent news that five major disclosure frameworks are collabor…
2020-10-01 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4308, Raw Interest Score: 1.1967,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1496, Negative Sentiment 0.1870


GTCOM-US to Provide APAC Alt Data on Bloomberg

GTCOM Technology Corporation (GTCOM-US), a leading alternative data fintech firm providing firms with smarter insights into China, today announces a new project with Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point. GTCOM-US will be the first Asia-pacific alternative data provider on Bloomberg’s alternative data catalogue , and will be providing sentiment data derived from its proprietary big data engine, giving Bloomberg Data License clients unique access to sentiment data from China to help drive alpha within their trading strategies.

The sentiment analysis of 5 popular buckets, including Global Luxury Brands, the Technology Media Telecom Sector, as well as a Russell US 3000 Aggregate category will be updated daily on Enterprise Access Point. GTCOM-US’s data is derived from its advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning technology, which enables GTCOM-US to process multilingual data.
2020-10-01 00:00:00 Read the full story (Hedgeweek)…
2020-10-01 00:00:00 Read the full story(AnalyticsIndiaMag)…

New Data Gravity Study Shows the Massive Scale of Big Data in 2024

Global data is quickly becoming unwieldy. As massive stores of data build up in various industries and enterprises, the various structures surrounding that data grow – often overburdening insufficient infrastructure. A new report from real estate investment trust Digital Reality puts numbers to this trend by introducing an index for “data gravity”: the phenomenon whereby the steady accumulation of data “pulls” more and more applications and services into its orbit.

“Understanding data gravity and its impact on our IT infrastructure is a difference-maker for our operations and will only become more important as data continues to serve as the currency of the digital economy,” said Munu Gandhi, vice president of core infrastructure services at Aon, a professional services firm that places 485th on the Forbes Global 2000. “As enterprises become more data-intensive, there’s a compounding effect on business points of presence, regulatory oversight and increased complexity for compliance and data privacy that IT leaders are now being forced to solve.”

From August 2019 to August 2020, Digital Realty pored over third-party data from the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, market research firms, and others to understand trends in data gravity. They factored in firm-level data (like revenue and location), technographic data (like IT spend and network traffic), and industry benchmarks (like data creation rates and growth rates).

2020-09-30 00:00:00 Read the full story…

First ETF to Track ‘Blank Check’ Companies Launches: Portfolio Products

Defiance ETFs has launched the first exchange-traded fund that tracks special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), which are shell companies that have no operations and raise capital through initial public offerings for the sole purpose of acquiring one or more companies with existing operations. SPACs are also known as “blank check” companies.

They have been around for decades but are having a record-breaking year in 2020, raising over $41 billion, according to Bloomberg.

2020-10-05 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.4934, Raw Interest Score: 2.3337,
Positive Sentiment: 0.0207, Negative Sentiment 0.1239

Broadridge’s LTX Trading Platform Tabs 7 Chord for Pricing

Broadridge’s AI-driven Corporate Bond Trading Platform LTX® Selects 7 Chord as Third-Party Pricing Provider. Platform offers greater insights into pre-trade liquidity.

BondDroid’s AI-generated prices are integrated directly into LTX’s pre-trade analytical tools, giving dealers and institutional investors a complete view into actual market liquidity before they trade, while controlling information leakage and at no additional cost to LTX users.

“The LTX platform empowers dealers and institutional investors to better connect and trade corporate bonds digitally using AI that offers greater insights into pre-trade price transparency and liquidity,” said Vijay Mayadas, President, Capital Markets at Broadridge. “BondDroid’s AI provides our clients with a more reliable baseline to measure the quality of execution they achieved through our digital trading protocol, RFX®.”

2020-10-06 08:18:41+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.3282, Raw Interest Score: 2.4735,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3534, Negative Sentiment 0.0000

Artificial Intelligence meets market volatility: Swiss tech firm opens hedge fund

“The crisis is a good mean for revealing the relevancy of a successful investment strategy” says Vestun’s CEO as it opens its AI hedge fund to external retail investors. Vestun, a Swiss-based financial and technology company has now opened the launch of its hedge fund to new outside investors.

The firm which until now has been only managing its own capital announced that its investment vehicle will open to institutional investments including banks, multi-family offices and asset managers within certain jurisdiction.

The company flagship strategy trades liquid US equities systematically. The strategy is designed to autonomously adapts its portfolio and risk exposure dynamically to the prevailing market conditions. In contrast to traditional systematic strategies, Vestun’s approach does not rely on statistical rules and historical events to generate signals. Instead, the strategy aggregate domain specific intelligence with datasets that individually perform in their own economics while remaining uncorrelated against each other.

2020-10-07 14:36:23+03:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 5.0186, Raw Interest Score: 2.1283,
Positive Sentiment: 0.3739, Negative Sentiment 0.2301

FTSE Russell’s Chinese government bond move heralds fresh opportunities for hedge fund investors

FTSE Russell’s decision to include Chinese sovereign bonds in its flagship government bond index could offer hedge fund investors fresh alpha-generating and AUM-raising opportunities amid a wave of overseas capital inflows into the market.

FTSE Russell said last month it intends to include Chinese sovereign bonds into its flagship World Government Bond Index from next year.

The inclusion – which follows similar moves by Bloomberg Barclays and JP Morgan Chase, the other two main index compilers – tees up a range of investment opportunities for several hedge fund strategy types, industry observers said.

2020-10-01 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.9806, Raw Interest Score: 2.0305,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1692, Negative Sentiment 0.0967

Ideal Prediction Expands Board with New Advisors

Executives join from Broadway Technology and RBC Capital Markets

Ideal Prediction (Ideal), the independent trading analysis and data science company for capital markets, has expanded its advisory Board with new members Jonathan Fieldman and Geoff Jones, according to a company press release. The new advisors previously held executive positions at RBC Capital Markets and Broadway Technology.

Ideal won FX Market’s e-FX Award for ‘Best Surveillance Provider’ in 2019 and 2020 and provides banks and regulators with analysis or raw transaction data. Trading firms, ECNs, and technology vendors use the firm’s services analytics to generate evidence and immediately resolve issues as they arise.
2020-10-01 15:08:14+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 3.0629, Raw Interest Score: 1.5315,
Positive Sentiment: 0.6623, Negative Sentiment 0.0414

Tableau integrates with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics, now called Tableau CRM

Tableau announced that it is combining its software with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics arm. The new offering will be known as “Tableau CRM.” It’s the latest integration between the two companies following Salesforce’s $15.7 billion acquisition last year.

“By bringing together the Tableau and Einstein Analytics teams earlier this year, and tapping into the power of the overall Salesforce ecosystem, we are putting rocket boosters on our innovation and accelerating our mission to help people see and understand data,” Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky said in a statement.

Tableau CRM will be part of the Salesforce CRM workflow. Initial integrations include “Einstein Discovery in Tableau,” which lets users identify patterns based on their datasets and enables predictive modeling and recommendations capabilities.


2020-10-06 17:25:00+00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.9940, Raw Interest Score: 1.4279,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1382, Negative Sentiment 0.1382

Data visualization and the pandemic spread

With just about everyone stuck at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, lots of people are taking an interest in following the progression of the virus data and understanding what it means. Health experts, economists, and others who are trying to mitigate the damage the virus has caused use data to give context to their recommendations, while local governments use it to create temporary policies that are intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Data visualization has been an important tool in this pandemic for several reasons. Because this is a modern outbreak, we have the ability to use the internet to collect and share information. But we still need visualization to help us understand the data and put it to use. Here are some of the ways visualization is helping to track the pandemic’s spread.

Weighted Interest Score: 2.5823, Raw Interest Score: 1.2340,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1828, Negative Sentiment 0.3428

Have Startup Layoffs Leveled Off for Good?

The COVID-19 pandemic had considerable impact on the startup community. Those startups with a business model based on human contact—such as ridesharing—had to radically adjust to nationwide lockdowns and new health protocols. Other startups, meanwhile, wrestled with clients terminating contracts and investors suddenly withholding funds.

The net effect was a spike in startup layoffs throughout March and April. But Layoffs.fyi, which has been crowdsourcing startup-layoff data since the pandemic began, shows that layoffs leveled off over the summer and stayed flat into autumn (so far). Check out the chart…

2020-10-05 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.5151, Raw Interest Score: 1.5091,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2012, Negative Sentiment 0.4024

5 Concepts Every Data Scientist Should Know

Once a Data Scientist, there are certain skills you will apply each and every day of your career. Some of these might be common techniques you learned during your education, while others may develop fully only after you become more established in your organization. Continuing to hone these skills will provide you with valuable professional benefits.

I have written about common skills that Data Scientists can expect to use in their professional careers, so now I want to highlight some key concepts of Data Science that can be beneficial to know and later employ. I may be discussing some that you know already and some that you do not know; my goal is to provide some professional explanation of why these concepts are beneficial regardless of what you do know now. Multicollinearity, one-hot encoding, undersampling and oversampling, error metrics, and lastly, storytelling, are the key concepts I think of first when thinking of a professional Data Scientist in their day-to-day. The last point, perhaps, is a combination of skill and a concept but wanted to highlight, still, its importance on your everyday work life as a Data Scientist. I will expound upon all of these concepts below.

  1. Multicollinearity
  2. One-Hot Encoding
  3. Sampling
  4. Error Metrics
  5. Storytelling

2020-10-05 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4810, Raw Interest Score: 1.2642,
Positive Sentiment: 0.2054, Negative Sentiment 0.2845

Muni Bond Market Disclosure: It’s About Time—And Time Is Money

The prior article A Technology Solution For Muni Bond Disclosure discussed how new technologies and data science methods are transforming disclosure in the municipal bond market.

This article, the sixth and final piece of a six-part series on investor disclosure in the municipal bond market, outlines how municipalities and authorities pay the very high real dollar cost of inefficient disclosure. Ironically, it is these very borrowers who use this capital market that are the one’s with the power to correct many of the market’s disclosure problems.

2020-10-06 00:00:00 Read the full story…
Weighted Interest Score: 2.4624, Raw Interest Score: 1.3492,
Positive Sentiment: 0.1235, Negative Sentiment 0.2185


This news clip post is produced algorithmically based upon CloudQuant’s list of sites and focus items we find interesting. We used natural language processing (NLP) to determine an interest score, and to calculate the sentiment of the linked article using the Loughran and McDonald Sentiment Word Lists.

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This news clip and any CloudQuant comment is for information and illustrative purposes only. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding a course of action. This information is provided with the understanding that CloudQuant is not acting in a fiduciary or advisory capacity under any contract with you, or any applicable law or regulation. You are responsible to make your own independent decision with respect to any course of action based on the content of this post.