Guidepoint Global LLC, the second largest US-based expert network, launched a new alternative data product line branded Guidepoint Qsight. Guidepoint remains the only expert network to embrace alternative data.
The new service comes two years after absorbing Quanton Data, an alternative data provider founded by a former Majestic Research executive Erik Haines. The initial product offering is purchase data from nearly one third of US hospitals, representing over 2000 facilities, providing monthly purchases of U.S. hospital consumables, medical devices and other physician preference items. The initial focus is on the healthcare sector, in line with Guidepoint’s longstanding TRACKER data which is now over a decade old.
In an interview and subsequent emails exchanged with Integrity Research, Haines said the initial Qsight coverage at launch is in key medical device companies with plans to add all purchases ranging from non-durables (such as gloves) to capital expenditures (such as MRI machines).
Hospital purchase order data is a difficult dataset requiring cleansing, mapping and modeling to get meaningful results. “We’ve developed proprietary mapping and cleansing engines and have our own projection methodology that are integral to creating our high-value product,” said Haines.
Data Insights Team
Guidepoint’s Data Insights team, headed by Haines and responsible for both the TRACKER data and the new alternative data sets, plans to expand beyond healthcare into the travel and transportation sectors.
Haines said the Data Insights team numbers fourteen staff. The team is recruiting for four additional positions according to Guidepoint’s website: a head of sales and business development for the Data Insights group; a healthcare analyst to manage monthly volume and usage data collection from longitudinal panels of healthcare professionals for the TRACKER product; a quantitative analyst and a Data Scientist/ Lead Quantitative Analyst.
The goal is to expand the Data Insights team to twenty staff by year-end, if all goes according to plan. There are currently five employees dedicated to TRACKER.
Alt Data & Primary Research
Although other expert networks have expressed skepticism about alternative data [in an interview with Integrity Research, AlphaSights co-founder Max Cartellieri said he saw no nexus between expert networks and alternative data], Haines sees alternative data as a natural extension to Guidepoint’s TRACKER product:
“The aim of Guidepoint TRACKER has always been and continues to be providing insights into market trends where there has historically been little to no good or timely data. Guidepoint Qsight builds upon this aim but rather than surveys, the product leverages alterative data. Having an alternative data product line is particularly exciting when added to the spectrum of Guidepoint’s overall offerings. Access to expert calls, surveys, events, tracking studies and now to actionable alternative data, offers an incredibly powerful combination of insights for our clients.”
We’ve always seen expert networks as a form of primary research, a view reinforced by many of the expert networks extending their product lines into surveys. Guidepoint’s TRACKER product is a quantified survey which has led it one step further into alternative data. Investment banks have followed a similar path –notably Morgan Stanley’s AlphaWise, UBS Evidence Lab and now Cohen’s Kyber—moving from market research to alternative data.
It is also notable that Guidepoint is initially centering its alternative data offering on the healthcare segment, an area of historical strength and the focus of the TRACKER product. The healthcare orientation reinforces the firm’s segment expertise, allowing it to cross-sell any of its products including consultations.