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Bank research embraces alternative data

Sell-side research is integrating alternative data to navigate the current coronavirus crisis. It’s the future for bank research, but it’s not an easy transition.


Alternative data is proving invaluable in the bid to navigate volatile markets and better understand the scale and depth of the recession that will result from the global Covid-19 shutdown.

Banks have been slow to adopt alternative data and are far behind other users such as hedge funds. Those banks that have invested in alternative data, however, believe that it is invaluable and that we are likely see bank research change as a result of this crisis.

Abraham Thomas is founder and chief data officer at Quandl, a large alternative data provider. Thomas says that over the last few weeks his firm has seen a growing appetite for alternative data from bank in-house research teams that are trying to make sense of Covid-19 and its economic impact.

“Based on our own interactions, I would say this is more a question of when sell-side research will start to include alternative data rather than if,” says Thomas. 

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