Funds hunt for the real McCoy in alternative data jungle

Uncorrelated information is a rare species but there are other ways to make funky new data work

A one-time marketing strapline for Thomson Reuters, a global news and information company, read: “Know. Now.” Listen to some investors trying to use so-called alternative data and that strapline could be adapted for the hip new trend this way: “Know. Now. What you already knew.”

Most funds agree it is supremely difficult to find out something genuinely new about a company by poring over social media, data from mobile apps, credit card records, satellite images of parking lots and other

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