Alternative data vendor 7Park Data launched a new research service as it continues to staff up its analyst contingent. The new product represents the second time the company has premiered analyst-driven research. The second time may be the charm.
7Park Data’s new Beacon reports are intended to provide forward-looking views of company and sector activity. The firm is publishing approximately 60 reports per quarter covering topics in the technology, consumer, industrials, and healthcare sectors.
At the same time, the firm has been hiring analysts. “We’ve made a significant investment in our analyst team in the latter half of 2019, including three senior analysts with substantial experience on the buy-side and sell-side,” said Erin Crapser, 7Park Data’s VP Marketing in an email to Integrity Research. The firm hired JP Gravitt as Head of Research, who was previously the research director for Market Realist. Prior to that, Gravitt was a senior analyst at Fred Alger Management and he has recruited other Alger alumni as analysts since joining 7Park Data. Other recent analytic hires hail from Barclays and Nomura/Instinet.
The firm employs seven analysts and is currently recruiting for a technology analyst with expertise in the cloud and enterprise software segment. The open position requires 5 years of experience in a research or consultancy organization as well as direct knowledge of the software sales cycle for corporate purchasers. Last month, the company released a new dataset that tracks purchases of the various cloud computing services by Fortune 500 companies.
The new Beacon service is not the first time 7Park Data has launched an analytic service, having released an Insight Report product in 2016. At that time, the firm had around four research analysts and was recruiting for a director of research and a consumer analyst. The firm’s internet analyst, Byrne Hobart, defected to rival M Science the following year, followed by other analyst departures to Deutsche Bank, Needham, Wood Mackenzie and Coatue in 2017 and 2018.
The latest service is designed to focus on actionable insights and provide more content than the previous version. “Our Beacon by 7Park report series is a fully standalone subscription offering with broader coverage, more frequent and consistent delivery to in-depth analysis,” said marketing head Crapser.
The reports are not only intended for a buy-side audience but will also be marketed to corporates in the industries covered. According to job postings, new analytic recruits are viewed as part of 7Park’s corporate-oriented organization and are expected to “partner closely with our corporate clients…to help corporations manage their product portfolio, understand competitive dynamics, detect pricing and other trends, and identify go to market opportunities.”
7Park Data was founded in 2012 by two of the top salespeople from Majestic Research (now rebranded as M Science). In August 2015, 7Park announced a $3 million Series A funding and raised $6 million in a subsequent financing round. It was acquired by Vista Equity Partners at the end of 2019. 7Park Data broadened its customer base from hedge funds to corporates in 2015 and launched analyst-authored Insight reports in 2016 (now relaunched in 2020). It enhanced its analytic platform in 2017 and added geolocation data in 2018. Last year it recruited a senior Gerson Lehrman executive as COO. The firm has recruited data partners covering oncology drug dispensation, app download and spending, vehicle sales, cloud infrastructure spend and viewership of streaming media.
If we examine LinkedIn registrations as a proxy for growth in staffing levels (and revenues), 7Park Data was lagging its alternative data peers for most of 2018. Registrations began to surge in April 2019 and have strongly surpassed the alternative data benchmark, up over 70% over the last two years compared to a 40% increase for our index of fourteen alternative data providers.
7Park Data’s decision to re-launch an analyst research service signals its relative strength as it continues to invest in adding new capabilities. It also represents a challenge rival M Science, which has offered an analyst research product since its days as Majestic Research (when 7Park’s founders were top salespeople there).
Analyst overlays of alt data also reflect current realities – many asset managers remain unwilling or unable to invest in their own data science capabilities, consuming alternative data as part of their external research relationships, whether from M Science or banks such as UBS or Morgan Stanley. Having an explicit research offering also potentially benefits the top line. If data budgets are under pressure, analyst research can tap research budgets which continue to be subsidized by soft dollars in the US.