The nature of alternative data and reasons to harvest it

31 January 2024

Collecting reliable alternative data via geo targeted proxies matters a lot when it comes to finance in general and investment in particular. That is how one can, in a timely fashion, recognize a lucrative investment opportunity and capitalize on it. Quite often, when customers reach out to Astro and request a free proxy trial, they pursue this very goal. 

Today, we will discuss the phenomenon of alternative data and share our perspectives on gathering it. 

Basically, two types of data exist in the context of investments, namely, traditional data and alternative data. Speaking of differences between them, the following classes of info belong to traditional data:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (aka SEC) filings pertaining to a company of interest; 
  • Quarterly financial reports available on the Net; 
  • Trading volumes of a particular stock measured on the daily, weekly, and monthly basis. 

As for alternative data, it refers to info generated by ordinary users, investors of various sorts, as well as by companies. The most important property of alternative data is that it is related to everyday activities of all these parties carried out in real-time. To name a few classes of alternative data, they include:

  • Sentiment concerning a given company on social media platforms;
  • Satellite images of premises and visual data related to logistics and delivery activities. They can say a lot about the state of affairs concerning the company of interest even before this company releases its reports;  
  • Digital transaction info at the consumers’ level.

Ways alternative data helps decision-makers

Let’s assume you work in finance and contact the Astro team to start a free proxy trial and try our geo targeted proxies. Here are some examples of alternative data you can collect via proxies:

  1. Product data and reviews. If you contemplate investing in a company, the good idea would be to collect all available customer feedback concerning it to grasp how successfully it serves its end-users. High user satisfaction rates are a great and workable hint regarding future performance;  
  2. Trending news items and stories mentioning the companies of interest. Such items can be both published by ‘classical’ media and then shared on social platforms; 
  3. Industry trends represented by info covering new releases, product upgrades, or recalls;
  4. Once again, sentiment observed on social media (reflected in reactions, mentions, upvotes, comments, etc.); 
  5. Data stemming from search engineers and encompassing trendy searches; 
  6. Info concerning compliance, terms of use, and privacy policies can also shed light on the situation of a particular company. 

Methods of gathering for alternative data 

Plainly speaking, there are two techniques to gather alternative data to make data-driven and informed decisions: 

  • Ready-made datasets. There exist research agencies collecting and structuring such data. One can approach them and buy a dataset. The problem with them is that these agencies follow their own methodologies that may be no match for you. For instance, they may overlook or deliberately ignore this or that aspect. As a consequence, your picture will not be full and reliable; 
  • Automated data collection. By using a specifically designed and engineered data scraper, you can get exactly what you need and want. If you decide to do so, do not forget to use geo targeted proxies provided by the Astro ecosystem. Feel free to test them in action. Each new user can order a free proxy trial


Back Back to home