Alternative data website, AlternativeData.org, recently announced the launch of a new series of events focused on helping buy-side analysts and PMs identify stock-specific research ideas generated by a series of curated alternative data providers.
AlternativeData.org Briefing Events
Recently, AlternativeData.org launched the first in a series of alternative data events targeted at helping analysts and PMs discover unique fundamental company specific trends identified through the use of specific data providers. The first Briefing Event (held on April 10, 2018) focused on Online Travel Agencies and Hotels. Over seventy-five buy-side investors attended to hear four alternative data vendors, including SimilarWeb, SafeGraph and YipitData, discuss fundamental trends in this space.
Management at AlternativeData.org explained that the reason they decided to put on these events was to focus on actual company-specific fundamental trends versus the generalities and marketing pitches that were prevalent at many of the other alternative data events currently available. The different approach AlternativeData.org is taking with these Briefing events has forced them to conduct significant due diligence of the potential vendors in order to ascertain which firms can present potentially interesting and relevant company oriented research.
While AlternativeData.org’s Briefing Events plan to allow for one-on-one or small group meetings between vendors and buy-side prospects, the real focus of these events are 25 minute deep dive presentations focused on how their data is used and the specific insights they want to present.
AlternativeData.org will continue this series with a Briefing on e-Commerce on July 10th and the China Internet sector on July 18th. A few of the alternative data vendors that will be presenting at these two upcoming events include Jiguang, Sandalwood, Second Measure, SimilarWeb, TH Capital, and YipitData.
AlternativeData.org currently has plans to hold several more of these Briefing Events in the 3rd Quarter, though they acknowledged they would keep sponsoring these events as long as the buy-side is able to get value from them.
At first blush, we concluded that AlternativeData.org was looking to start commercializing their endeavors as they are charging buy-side attendees, alternative data vendors, and sponsors involved in the new Briefing Event series. However, management explained that making money was not a principal reason for sponsoring these events. While they agreed that charging asset managers and vendors allowed them to defray the costs of these events, the real reason was to help actual buy-side investors see the value in alternative data.
Clearly, events focused on AI and alternative data have become extremely popular, as BattleFin, DataDisrupt, Eagle Alpha, and Quandl have already proven this year. In fact, this is one reason that a number of industry participants have recently commented that we might be at the peak of the “hype cycle” in this space.
However, we see a distinct difference between these events and AlternativeData.org’s Briefing series as these are the first events that are less focused on helping asset managers find new alternative data and AI vendors and more oriented at presenting actual research insights related to individual company performance. Consequently, we suspect that AlternativeData.org will see a different type of attendee at their events than who attends the other alternative data events. The real big question we have is whether AlternativeData.org will be able to maintain the quality of their events going forward as the manual curation process must be extremely time consuming.