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QDC2020: Our thanks, your thoughts

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The fourth annual Quandl Data Conference is in the books! As the data tide rises and the sun sets on alt data’s honeymoon phase, we’ve kicked off 2020 with ambitious goals for what’s to come. Nothing exemplifies this more than QDC.

We take pride in bringing a knowledge-packed day to top data-driven professionals, and want to again thank everyone who made this year’s conference our best yet.

We asked, you answered

With our focus on gathering thought-provoking speakers and industry-insider sessions, we’re always keen to hear your comments. This year, we surveyed QDC2020’s attendees for their standout moments. From favorite sessions to highlights of the day, here’s what you said were the brightest parts of 2020’s Quandl Data Conference:

Matthew Rothman: Expert, Provocateur

It’s no secret that Goldman Sachs’ Managing Director, Matthew Rothman, made a few waves at QDC. His session on data mining sat early in the day. Immediately following Brian Koppelman’s keynote Rothman pivoted to a practitioner’s perspective, dialing in the audience’s focus on… facial dimensions, lunar cycles and sources of false signal. 

Media coverage of the session was wide, picked up by both Business Insider and Risk.net. The session gave attendees senior-level insight into how the data mining landscape is pockmarked with pitfalls. It made the room laugh, while giving many pause for thought.

And—as the survey revealed—Rothman delivered QDC 2020’s most popular session.

Bringing the hedge fund story to the masses

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brian Koppelman’s keynote session ranked highly amongst the day’s favorites. With a storyteller’s perspective, Koppelman and Tammer Kamel (CEO and co-founder of Quandl) volleyed comments on aspects of the investment world as portrayed through Koppelman’s hit show, Billions.

Interestingly, the conversation steered towards the aspects of creativity that drive the world’s top hedge fund professionals. How does ideation happen? How are processes challenged? How does one enter a state of flow and only then critique and rationally validate innovative ideas? And, naturally, are they flying in a G6 or a “sardine can”?

Koppelman’s keynote was a QDC2020 favorite per the survey results, setting an inspirational and introspective tone for the remainder of the day.

A few words, off the record

While we still can’t say much about this session, QDC attendees thoroughly enjoyed sitting in on the off the record discussion. Pulling from their senior-level perspectives, Quandl’s Evan Reich, Point 72’s Kirk McKeown and Third Point’s Matt Ober were able to provide tremendous insights into the future of data driven investing.

Audience comments described the session as incredibly valuable and relevant to the issues—warts and all— that many data-driven investors stand to face in the coming years.

Data compliance and a timely legal discussion

We can, however, speak on the final session of the day that stood out as a high point to those who were able to attend.

Bolstered in relevance by lawmaker calls to investigate Yodlee’s data selling practices, Lowenstein’s Peter Greene and Business Insider’s Bradley Saacks brought a brass-tacks-focused conversation to the QDC stage to close out the day. Greene opened up by walking through language that demonstrated the various grey pockets of the law in the data-driven landscape. To follow, Saacks interviewed Greene to expand on the questions and focus points held by the media and—in turn—public perception.

The two’s session, sitting proudly in the day’s top 5, demonstrated the authority and curiosity that exemplify the spirit of QDC. 

Looking to 2021 and beyond

With our fourth annual Quandl Data Conference in the books, we want to thank everyone that contributed to the event’s success. From sponsors and speakers to staff and attendees, the event is elevated each year by the enthusiasm of those involved. If you’d like to recap the day’s sessions and speakers, you can find the QDC2020 agenda here.

For early access to Quandl’s next event, and to be notified of QDC-exclusive offers, be sure to sign up below.

For information on sponsoring the 2021 Quandl Data Conference, or another Quandl event, please feel free to connect with mitch@quandl.com.

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