Data Trends for Investment Professionals

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The Travails of the Closed Data Industry in an Open Data World

For decades, the Reuters corporation famously owned one share of every publicly-traded company in America. This was not an investment strategy of course. It was simply to ensure that they received quarterly and annual reports from every public company in the country. From these documents they meticulously extracted quantitative corporate facts. This exercise empowered them to sell a well-organized compilation of company data to clients. In the decades before the ascent of the Internet, Reuters provided an invaluable service: they delivered easy access to information that, although public in nature, was difficult to find and use. Reuters built a strong...

Quandl as Yahoo Redux

In 1994 Jerry Yang and David Filo evolved their directory of web sites into something they called “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” which of course acronyms to “YAHOO”. Originally, Yahoo was a human-maintained directory of websites. Through the mid 1990s, every site indexed by Yahoo was evaluated and summarized by a human being. A search on Yahoo in 1995 presented a user not only with links (like a modern search engine does), but with a summary and commentary of each web site. For the period of time that Yahoo could keep up with the growth of the web, it was...

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