We wrote a blog post titled Data Management is the Cornerstone of an Asset Manager’s Success; in it, we suggested that a firm’s operational, and cultural challenges are hampering its efforts to realize an effective data management strategy. In addition, firms have to evolve quickly and adopt new processes and technology to deal with the massive amounts of data that have become available and that key stakeholders in the firm want to collect and analyze. The impact of this datafication is nothing short of revolutionary. Consider the following, in 2000, only 25% of all the world’s stored information was digital. Today, less than 2% of all stored information is non-digital.
Gartner defines dark data as: “The information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes (for example, analytics, business relationships and direct monetizing).”
The average information worker spends as much as 36% of their time searching for data and more than 40% of those searches are fruitless, according to a report by IDC.
In a Greenwich/Thomson Reuters study, they documented that the average investment firm invests around $900,000 on alternative data annually. This is nearly twice more than the previous year. Based on this data, web-scraped data has been identified as the most popular data adopted by investment professionals.
From research studies to product listings to social media, the internet is not only filled with great content but valuable data as well. But with more than 2 billion websites and resources live on the web today, sifting through and finding the most information manually is simply not feasible for fund managers or analysts in the investment community. However, thanks to technology, there is a way to automate the volume and variety of data collected from the web. This is made possible with something that we typically refer to as web data extraction or simply web scraping.
It has become clear from our experience with the financial services and alternative investment community that data extraction and web scraping is currently utilized for a variety of use cases. In addition, the number of use cases is increasing dramatically as technology improves and allows users to not only gather data, but also, ingest the data into other tools to analyze it, set alerts, track changes, and ultimately uncover insights that will help them invest more effectively. As a matter of fact, a recent report from The Hill found that 36 percent of investment management professionals now use web scraping to derive valuable data.
RyanEyes Web Watcher Transforms Data into Investment Insights
RyanEyes Web Watcher empowers users with advanced data identification, storage, and analysis functionality. Web Watcher can monitor and capture insights from any website automatically at custom time points including when data is changed. Web Watcher is an integrated, powerful data analysis technology that not only captures key data points, but also transforms them into alpha-generating insights.
Web Watcher allows users with no technical expertise to monitor data points on one or multiple websites, schedule the automatic collection of those data points and configure notification alerts. No technical expertise, manual coding, and an intuitive interface mean users can set up a Web Watcher and begin capturing data from websites seamlessly in just minutes.
A very simple use case of RyanEyes Web Watcher would be a hedge fund monitoring page visit numbers of large retail sites and mapping those trends. By doing so they are able to tell if specific online retailers are picking up unusually large amounts of visits and make investments based on that variable or combine it with others they are tracking. Making an investment decision like this becomes far easier if you have access to the right data sets and analysis.
Automate the Collection of Data and Create Alerts Based on Data-Driven Trigger Points
RyanEyes Web Watcher Tracks Website Data Including Changes Allowing Users to Create Graphs, Set Alerts, and Generate Statistics
Fund managers and administrators are collecting and gathering data from a diverse group of sources including:
- Web Scraping
- Connections to databases like Bloomberg and other research hubs
A strong data management program is key to transforming data into an asset and successfully delivering on a firm’s goals and complex projects. Asset managers often struggle to take a firmwide view of data, so their data management approach supports only specific non-integrated requirements. That approach creates a siloed understanding of data which then causes a fracturing of the data structure and differing points of view on reporting requirements across functional domains.
Data extraction and scraping technology have evolved and empowered asset managers, fund administrators, and others to collect, manage, and analyze more data than ever before. In the case of Elon Musk’s reference to selling the company at $420 when it was trading substantially below that price, or his suggestion that he would buy Twitter in a tweet on Twitter; If a fund manager had a simple scraper running on Musk, they would be alerted instantly. They could then act on the information immediately to take advantage of any price action that may result. In so many cases, we have seen single tweets result in massive price action in an equity.
Data acquisition including data extraction, web scraping, data management, and data analysis tools have evolved and are significantly more powerful now than ever. In addition, the ability to store volumes of data for interpretation has increased exponentially. That said, as we suggested in the introduction to this post, firms, portfolio managers and fund administrators are still struggling to extract and manage the data effectively.
Step 1 was scraping simple data like retail sales, web traffic, and social media content, Step 2 was integrating that data into a model or calculation that would allow investment managers to make insightful predictions. Step 3 is web data integration using data extraction and going another step beyond it to combine all the information into a single cohesive workflow. It not only extracts the data but also makes it readily available in more interactive models, algorithms, predictive analysis software to produce for example charts, graphs, and other easily analyzable output. It is a highly automated process and can help save time and make far more accurate assessments of investments for fund managers.
RyanEyes is helping our clients move to step 3 through our Web Watcher data extraction and analysis functionality which is integrated into our RyanEyes software solution. The use cases for fund managers are almost endless as more and more data are collected, and those data can be correlated to some aspect of company performance. We list several of the use cases as well as the features of Web Watcher below for your convenience.
Web Watching: Use Cases
- Company Websites
- Securities and Exchange Commission – Updates
- Government websites
- News sites with the ability to watch and capture behind a paywall
- Internal websites with critical information
- Retail websites for product changes or prices
Web Watching: Web Scraping Features
Website configuration review and sign off before deployment
Schedules can be every minute, hour, day, week, or month
Data Stored in usable format for linking to other data points
Ability to configure triggers on the data for instant notification
Workflows initiated based on changes to web data points
- Web Watching: Enhanced Product Features
SaaS-based – no installation necessary on your local machine
- Highly Secure; Data is encrypted and with TLS, two-factor authentication
- Data and insights can be shared with others and other organizations
- Ability to configure workflows that download additional data or require additional user action with a sophisticated workflow
- Business Intelligence reporting for data that is captured
- Linked to underlying positions for correlation to investment positions for deals
To Learn More About RyanEyes Web Watcher – Contact Us, We Are Happy to Help – 1 (347) 759 0105.
You Can Also Fill Out Our Contact Us Form Here to Talk with a RyanEyes Consultant – https://www.RyanEyes.com/contact-us/