We attended BattleFin in New York City on Wednesday, the conference dedicated to finding alpha in alternative data. In the morning we attended presentations on the main stage, and in the afternoon we engaged in 15 minute, speed-dating style conversations with hedge funds, capital management, and other investment groups–discussing the Streamdata.io API Gallery, and how we can help them with API discovery and deliver new data sources. One thing is clear coming out of the conference, that the financial sector has a huge appetite for alternative data sources.
The event was dedicated to alternative data, and EVERYONE we talked to were looking for unique sources of data that could help their investment groups achieve alpha. From retail foot traffic data, to shipping container and oil refinery data, everyone was hungry for access to new data, or was there selling that they had the data you needed. While there was light concern around recent regulatory movements in EU, and privacy concerns around Facebook, Verizon, and others, the appetite for getting hands on new sources of data was huge.
Because of the regulatory concerns of these companies, there was significant discussion around the quality and provenance of data, with significant evidence of well-developed compliance departments. Making sure that their firms were not in violation of any regulator rules, but more importantly that they stayed out of the papers, and above the fold as they said. Nobody wants the negative press to come along with the violation of the privacy of average citizens that we’ve been seeing with the regular waves of news. Raising the bar, as well as the value of data when it has the pedigree and provenance that financial firms are looking for.
There was a significant amount of interest in the Streamdata.io API Gallery and our ability to find new API and data sources. We talked about how we spider the web and Github looking for new data sources, and how we work to high grade, rank, and ultimately build relationships with the companies behind the API and data we will eventually publish to the gallery. We will keep adding new API sources to the gallery, but more importantly we’ll keep ranking and identifying the highest quality data out there. The data game isn’t about having the most data these days, it is about having the highest quality data, which possesses a pedigree and provenance–allowing it to stand out in the big data landscape.