Alternative Data Weekly #155
October 13, 2023
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Theme of the week: The challenge of drawing great insights from data is evident and a challenge worthy of significant investment.
“What will ultimately win in the cloud is content.” – Paul Humphrey, CEO of BMLL
Final Thoughts (frustration)
#1 – Data Beat’s Arpit Choudhary published Good Data To Growth: An Introduction to the GDG Model. October 2023. Keep a lookout for a forthcoming book.
My Take: What do savvy organizations need to turn data into growth? GDG = Good Data to Growth. See the below “charts” section for a copy of the GDG pyramid. It starts with data collection, layered with context & questions (domain knowledge helps here), then analysis & modeling … and finally activation and action. The data space is rapidly changing, frameworks like GDG can help us think more clearly about where things are headed.
#2 – Nomad Data published Unveiling the Value of Data: Insights from a CDO Roundtable. October 2023.
My Take: Q: how does a CDO justify their role? A: generate demonstratable value. The Nomad team talked with a group of CDOs and came away with some great insights and conclusions.
A common them for readers of this ADW is the importance of domain knowledge. Understanding the business and being able to communicate with executives is key. Putting an organization together that allows your business to organize data in such a way that “non-data people” can easily understand the value is not easy, thus the need for a CDO. The good news is the rapidly changing data world allows for a ton of opportunity.
#3 – Rosaria Silipo, Head of Data Science Evangelism at KNIME, published 30 Years of Data Science: A Review From a Data Science Practitioner. September 2023.
My Take: I like these perspective pieces. They help develop strategic thinking as it helps to know where you’ve been to predict where you are going. For me the biggest takeaway is that the tools to work with data are getting better just as the amount of data is skyrocketing. “the biggest change in data science in the last years, in my opinion, has taken place in the underlying infrastructure.” Much of what we do today with data would not have been possible 5-10 years ago, but thanks to improvements in the data stack, a huge amount of value is being unlocked.
BONUS: David Tuppen published Simplifying the ‘data product’. October 2023. ”There are various ways to design any data architecture, and although data product design is highly effective for faster delivery or value creation, it isn’t the only way.”
What else I am reading:
Matt Turck’s The 2023 MAD (Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence & Data) Landscape. February 2023.
Arpit Choudhury’s The Modern Data Divide. September 2023.
Sarah Butcher’s Millennium and Schonfeld: What's really going on?. October 2023.
BMLL secures investment from Snowflake Ventures. September 2023.
Niels Cauterts’ Leaving academia? Think twice before going into data or software. June 2023.
Source: Mark Fleming-Williams interviews Ed Lavery of Placeer.ai.
My Take: Ed Lavery is a veteran of the alternative data space and recently moved from a role at SimilarWeb to Placer.ai. He brings a unique perspective. Of most interest to me were his thoughts on the accuracy of your data’s prediction NOT being the major selling point, but rather data that your is clean & easy to use … while at the same time providing the buyer the ability to answer any number of unique questions they might dream up (we are all prompt engineers). At the end of the day, you are selling a solution, not a feature.
Minute 01:00 – interview starts (Ed Lavery)
Minute 03:30 – similarities among SimilarWeb & Place.ai; Foot traffic (Placer.ai) & web traffic (SimilarWeb)
Minute 06:30 – how is alt data industry different now vs 5-6 years ago?
Minute 10:15 – how does Placer.ai get their data & basic use cases?
Minute 15:30 – use cases for discretionary fund vs quant fund, macro use cases
Minute 24:00 – question about SWEB’s journey to IPO
Minute 28:00 – fixed income opportunity
Minute 30:30 – building a team at Placer.ai and what lesson from SWEB?
Minute 33:00 – where are we in 2023 in terms of the alt data space in general
Minute 35:30 – Placer.ai & Bloomberg partnership
BONUS: Auren Hoffman interviews Peter Thiel on the World Of DaaS podcast.
Source: 30 Years of Data Science: A Review From a Data Science Practitioner September 2023.
Hi everyone. I take a lot of pride in delivering this email every Friday at 7am ET.
Something happened with SubStack Thursday evening and my Alt Data Weekly email disappeared as I was about to hit ‘go’.
I was forced to scramble and pull together this version in short order. This is/was frustrating as I had a great (IMO) piece on data products written for my Final Thoughts section.
The good news is the ADW has been delivered!
Thanks for your patience with any typos or other errors.
Have a great weekend!