Data Trends for Investment Professionals


A Quant’s Approach to Building Trading Strategies: Part One

Recently, Quandl interviewed a senior quantitative portfolio manager at a large hedge fund. We spoke about how she builds trading strategies--how she transitions from an abstract representation of the market to something concrete with genuine predictive powers. Can you tell us how you design new trading strategies? It all starts with a hypothesis. I conjecture that there ought to be a relationship between two instruments, or maybe there’s a new instrument in the market that’s gaining popularity, or maybe there’s an unusual macroeconomic factor I’ve discovered that drives micro pricing behavior. So I write down an equation – a model,...

Bring Your Own Tool: the Latest Trend in Data Analysis

The role of the data analyst is changing. The best analysts know that different tasks require different tools. The End of Bundling Once upon a time, data purchases came bundled with data consumption software. You couldn't just buy a dataset; you had to install a proprietary data downloader. You couldn’t just view the data on your computer; you needed a custom visualizer, or even a full-fledged data terminal. And you couldn't do whatever you wanted with the data; you were forced to work within the applications provided to you by the vendor. Today, this seems absurd. In 2016, analysts don't...

Quandl Phase 2: The Democratization of Commercial Data

Today, 18 months or so since we launched, Quandl offers the world unlimited and unrestricted access to over 10 million time-series datasets. That number grows every day thanks to our small team here in Toronto and thanks to the many users around the world who contribute data to the site every day. (more…)

Data: The Big Picture

These are the slides from a 2-hour talk I gave at IRMAC Canada in January 2014. I cover a lot of ground: The problem of finding information on the internet The evolution of search, from manual to automated to vertical Building a data search engine Transitioning to a data platform The criticality of user-driven content in the data world The role played by open data The age of data ubiquity Network effects for data The emerging data layer Data as a Service An explosion of context What it all means for you   [pdf-embedder url=""]   You can download the entire...

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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