Last week, New York City-based market data vendor Bloomberg, announced that it was expanding its alternative data offering by tripling the number of data vendors offered through its Enterprise Access Point platform.
Expansion of Alt Data Offering
Bloomberg announced it is expanding the number of alternative data providers available on its web-based Enterprise Access Point data marketplace to over 60 providers. A number of the new datasets available on the platform are relevant to COVID-19, including data around biotech and pharma, life events such as evictions and foreclosures, geopolitical risk, regional internet usage, social positioning scores, patent data on technology trends, and brand discounting.
Caroline Ward, Alternative and Historical Data Product Manager at Bloomberg, explained the product enhancement, “Over the past few years, we have seen demand for alternative data skyrocket as firms have integrated sophisticated insights into their investment strategies. This has only increased with the COVID-19 pandemic, as information once considered a value-add has now become essential to navigate a dislocated economy. The expansion of Enterprise Access Point ensures our clients have direct access to a wide range of alternative data, in conjunction with Bloomberg’s market-leading traditional financial data, so they can make informed and confident investment decisions.”
In September 2018, Bloomberg launched its Enterprise Access Point online data marketplace providing normalized reference, pricing, regulatory, and historical data for client’s analytical needs. Clients using its Enterprise Access Point platform can browse its catalogue of datasets, examine metadata, download and test sample datasets, and easily purchase unique datasets. This offering was expanded in February 2019, when Bloomberg added 20 alternative data sources to this marketplace, including sources like Thasos, Apptopia, and Tipranks.
Bloomberg is the latest market data vendor to commit to alternative data by adding it to its data marketplace, following such moves from Refinitiv and S&P Global. FactSet, being one of the first movers among the market data providers, launched its turnkey Open:FactSet alternative data marketplace in April 2018. However, other firms such as Quandl, Crux, Knoema, and BattleFin have all built up extensive data marketplaces including traditional financial data and alternative datasets.
Despite the prevalence of these online data marketplaces, technology players including Amazon’s AWS and Snowflake have also entered the fray, quickly aggregating hundreds of datasets including some of the most popular alternative datasets. In fact, many of the data marketplaces including FactSet, BattleFin, Crux, and S&P Global have all partnered with either AWS or Snowflake to distribute some of the proprietary data available on their platforms through these fast growing cloud-based data exchanges.
These developments call into question the strategic rationale of a firm like Bloomberg integrating individual alternative datasets onto their proprietary platform. Of course, all market data vendors need to provide their clients with access to alternative data, and they need to make sure this data is tagged with consistent identifiers. However, the recent growth of cloud-based aggregators like AWS and Snowflake suggests that firms like Bloomberg might want to consider focusing on providing their clients with the right tools to easily access and analyze the data they need, instead of finding and integrating the data.