Survey Finds Widespread and Growing Use of Alternative Data

Two-thirds of hedge funds, nearly half of private equity firms and two-fifths of venture capital firms presently use alternative data, and most do so to a significant or moderate extent, according to a recent survey by Lowenstein Sandler. The survey asked 125 alternative investment managers about their current and anticipated uses of alternative data; data sourcing; key concerns; demand for consumer transaction, social media and other categories of data; and its use in responsible investing. This article analyzes the survey results, with commentary from Lowenstein Sandler partner Peter D. Greene. For more from Greene, see “Key Compliance Considerations for Fund Managers Using Alternative Data” (Jan. 9, 2020). See also our three-part series on the opportunities and risks presented by big data: “Acquisition and Proper Use” (Jan. 11, 2018); “MNPI, Web Scraping and Data Quality” (Jan. 18, 2018); and “Privacy Concerns, Third Parties and Drones” (Jan. 25, 2018).

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