Using Alt Data to Glimpse the Alt Future

Ted Cuzzillo, Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Alternative data, or alt data, can indicate new trends much faster than conventional data

• Alt data is for domain experts only

The dawning of new trends might be described as being “like a string hanging down from the future.” That’s how the renowned forecaster Paul Saffo described it. The future first presents itself like the “odd event you can’t get out of your mind [that] could be a weak signal of a distant industry-disrupting S curve…”

Everyone’s looking for signs of the future. What’s going to happen to us? Who will suffer? When will the economy recover? Eyes are peeled for that weak but portentous S-curve.

The trouble, of course, is the abundance of those hanging strings. The great challenge is to distinguish strings that have real prescience. That’s true in ordinary times, but it’s far more important during upheavals like COVID and the shaken economy to follow. Alt-data customers say standard financial indicators and statistical releases are too slow. Continue reading “Using Alt Data to Glimpse the Alt Future”