Data Trends for Investment Professionals

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Filter by Author: Abraham Thomas

Five Misleading Myths about Alternative Data

One of the many interesting things about alternative data is how difficult it is to define. Most people define it by what it is not: “any non-market data is alternative data”. But very few are actually able to pinpoint what it actually is. The reason, I suspect, is that alternative data is a moving target. It comes from different sources, takes different forms, and offers insights on different verticals. For example, satellite imagery can predict oil inventories, online job listings can track company growth, and insurance records can track auto sales: that’s three different data types, from three different sources,...

Alternative Data in Action: Iron Ore in a Meltdown?

China is both the world's largest producer and the world's largest importer of iron ore. This can result in some curious dynamics in the market, especially when China's internal supply and demand for iron ore become unbalanced.   Recent developments form an interesting case study. The Chinese government has been getting tougher on smog, and this means cutting steel production, which is a major source of pollutants. How will this affect global iron ore markets? Alternative data may hold the answer. Air Care The Chinese government has made it a policy priority to reduce the smog that envelops many of...

Data Monetization: Pricing Your Data Product

Pricing Your Data Product You’ve built your data product and are ready to put it on the market. You’ve done your due diligence, making sure that your data is clean, predictive and completely scrubbed of sensitive information. You’ve created great relationships with hedge funds and consultants. Everything seems to be in order until you make that first call with a potential client. They ask, “How much do you charge for your data?” In other words, is there any logic to the way you are pricing your data product. What do you charge, indeed: Is your asking price too high, too...

Data Monetization: Marketing and Selling Your Data Product

In the last post, we covered compliance concerns and data privacy and discussed what hedge funds expect in their data products. In this post, let's assume your product is fully developed and ready to be sold. Just get your marketing team on it, right? Not exactly. Even if you're a data company, marketing and selling data products to Wall Street is a unique process. Active managers make their wealth partly by keeping their circles closed. Therefore, despite having successfully productized your data assets, you may still not be able to penetrate the coterie that is Wall Street — your key demographic....

Data Monetization: Compliance and Privacy

In our previous post, we completed our discussion of data productization, focusing on the importance of robust delivery systems and packaging. Next, we will discuss the data compliance and privacy concerns most often expressed by data providers. The media has made much of datasets used by Wall Street that are not “anonymized”, but the reality is that professional investors do not care one bit about an individual’s information. They only care about data that moves markets. That Lucy Morgan, 37, of Louisville, Kentucky just bought six family-sized bars of Hershey’s chocolate using her MasterCard at Costco does not interest them in...

Going Once, Going Twice: Alternative Data Gives IronPlanet Acquisition Second Take

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (TSE:RBA) (NYSE:RBA), the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, released its first earnings announcement yesterday after its May 2017 acquisition of IronPlanet for USD 750m. The reported EPS of USD 0.33 and USD 166.19m revenue handily beat the consensus estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, which called for adjusted EPS of USD 0.31 on revenue of USD 163.4m. The stock has responded by rallying over 8% in next-day trading. We believe that analysts underestimated the results because they lacked insight into the boost in gross merchandise volume (GMV) that the IronPlanet acquisition provided. Ritchie Bros. has underperformed the...

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