Winter Summit recap (Day 1): Measuring alt data ROI and 2020 trends

Sondra Campanelli, Head of News and Marketing (London)

Neudata Events
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Over 600 attendees joined us for the first day of the Neudata Winter Summit, which explored this year’s key themes for alt data and our expectations for 2021.

Neudata’s founder and CEO Rado Lipuš kicked off our morning session, welcoming attendees to the session and recapping Neudata’s priorities over the past year. In particular, Neudata has spent the last 12 months building out its capabilities for clients (e.g., identifying free datasets for those whose budgets have been impacted during COVID-19 and boosting our coverage of datasets in APAC), as well as launching several new products, including Neudata Sentry (our compliance intelligence platform) and Neudata Provider (a portal for data providers to access buy-side intelligence).

AllianceBernstein’s Jonathan Berkow spoke next on how to inspire fundamental investors to access and use alternative sources of data, explaining how important it was to develop key research questions first that data can help answer. He also advised vendors to think about their products in this way, rather than just focusing on the underlying data. He highlighted the role COVID-19 has played in changing fundamental investors’ minds about alt data — in particular as a tool to help them see the world when they are stuck at home.

Chris Longworth of GAM Systematic then spoke about how to measure the return on investment that managers get from using alternative data. He noted that alternative data needs to “earn its place” and show that its use creates true incremental revenue. It’s important to consider the ROI at each stage of the data lifecycle, he added, from data scouting, to initial analysis, to ongoing evaluation.

Chris then joined a panel with Mark Ainsworth of SchrodersNico Smuts of Surveyor Capital and Sondra Campanelli of Neudata to expand further on that topic. The group discussed how to set proper expectations around data and revealed the metrics they use to determine success. They also discussed the importance of building appropriate infrastructure to determine what they want to get out of data trials, as well as having the right people on their teams who will ask questions and come up with creative solutions.

Matt Napoli then presented a case study on using AWS Exchange to make datasets more discoverable to data buyers.

After a short networking break where participants took meetings on the Brella platform, Neudata’s Daryl Smith presented on the biggest trends in alternative data this year and what we can expect going into 2021. Daryl highlighted several key trends from 2020, including a higher volume of requests for healthcare data, a renaissance in buyers’ interest in geolocation data and an exploration of how transactional data providers coped with changing consumer behaviour in 2020.

He also highlighted several things to watch going into 2021, including how Apple’s release of iOS 14 could impact investors that rely on mobile app and geolocation data, the regulatory landscape for data in China and the US, how open banking is creating a more robust landscape of transactional data providers, and how levels of dataset discontinuations are likely to stay high after an already busy 2020.

Next, Morgan Stanley presented an Inside the Mind of an Analyst session on pharmaceutical investing during the time of COVID-19. If you’d like more information about this presentation, please reach out to us at

We wrapped up day one with two case studies from SimilarWeb and causaLens. SimilarWeb has launched a SaaS product to track engagement on B2B platforms through web-traffic data and Jeremy Scott discussed the sticking power of platforms like Zoom, while Darko Matovski explained how attendees can use platforms like causaLens to find causal relationships between data.

Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash