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Report on Alternative Data Calls for Industry Standardization

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Refinitiv has released the findings of its ‘A New Dimension of Data – Building an Open and Trustworthy Alternative Data Ecosystem’ report in collaboration with Open Data Institute (ODI).

The release of the alt data report comes at a time when our world is challenged with understanding the enormity of available data and information. Investment managers, traders and investors are tasked with finding the right data, making sense of it, and ultimately actioning it. Unstructured information, the explosion of alternative data, and the need for trusted sources makes an already daunting task even more complex.

According to the report, with over a thousand purported alt data sources, hundreds of case studies and millions in global spend, the alt data sector seems to be gaining traction. The alternative data market, however, remains a very small part of the multibillion-dollar market for access to stock market and other financial data. While the governance and norms for the licensing and distribution of traditional data are well established in many countries, the alt data market is at an early stage. Best practices, codes of practice, regulations and standards have not yet been fully established.

Enabling the integration and use of such a disparate set of data sources will require the development of a new set of standards, according to the report, which addresses key considerations for understanding and standardizing alternative data, including:

●        What is alternative data
●        How is alt data currently accessed, used and shared
●        Ethical and legal considerations in alt data
●        Improving access to alt data
●        Recommendations and Next steps

“The rise and success of quantitative analysis and investing using alternative data has taken the broader financial community to an inflection point when it comes to understanding, sourcing and applying these data sets to add greater insight and investment value,” said Austin Burkett, Global Head of Quants and Feeds, Refinitiv. “At Refinitiv, we believe that alternative data ought to be standardized and where possible, normalized in order to improve data quality and reliability to better serve clients with the highest ethical and legal considerations,” Burkett added.

According to sources, the alternative data report was written using extensive desk research, user research interviews with 13 professionals in the alternative data space and an expert roundtable of 12 participants.

To download the report, ‘Building an Open and Trustworthy Alternative Data Ecosystem’ please visit: