Buy-Side Technology Awards 2015: Best Buy-Side Data Analytics Tool—AlphaSense

alphasense-analytics

The word on everyone’s lips these days is “analytics.” As firms work to collect and store huge amounts of information, they want to be able to analyze that data to make actionable business decisions based on it. It’s only the second time that the best data analytics award has been included in the Buy-Side Technology Awards program, but it’s sure to be a mainstay for years to come. And you can expect this year’s winner, AlphaSense, to be in contention for the foreseeable future.

Founded in 2008, AlphaSense offers a semantic and thematic search engine layered upon aggregated and indexed premium and user content. It provides actionable analysis through reports, alerts and compiled digests of discovered information from structured and unstructured data. It is specifically designed for buy-side analysts, portfolio managers and research professionals.

On the broker research side, AlphaSense covers over 1,000 research providers from bulge-bracket banks to boutique research firms. The platform aims to cut out “noise” and find the most relevant research according to a theme, a trend or a company of interest, according to the company’s co-founder and CEO, Jack Kokko. 

“AlphaSense applies hundreds of proprietary algorithms that ‘read’ the text content of each report and then tag each report, allowing users to find the most relevant reports on all industries and asset classes, as well as the deeper strategy and initiation reports that are otherwise hard to find,” Kokko says. “AlphaSense also uniquely allows users to highlight and annotate broker research, and keep an electronic digest of their notes, accessible at any time, whether on an iPad or a desktop.”

Users can actively upload their own content and can set up email forwarding rules to add content sets to AlphaSense, or directly upload any content to be semantically indexed and made searchable alongside all the existing external content that AlphaSense curates. Of its new rollouts, the San Francisco-based vendor supports full functionality through users’ iPads. It has also added a new technology dubbed Smart Synonyms, which understands and applies synonyms for thousands of financial and business concepts. Search results for keywords automatically include relevant synonyms, while ignoring false positives, according to Kokko. 

“For example, a user typing ‘capex growth in China’ will automatically also see results about increasing investments in Shenzhen and countless other synonyms,” he says.

Users can actively upload their own content and can set up email forwarding rules to add content sets to AlphaSense, or directly upload any content to be semantically indexed and made searchable alongside all the existing external content that AlphaSense curates.

Over the years, the buy side has created and stored large volumes of data. Now, they are looking to mine that data—AlphaSense’s bread and butter. It’s a focus that is already valuable to the buy side, and will, in future, become increasingly indispensable.

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