'Data Mining is Bullsh**t' — An Examination

With the growth of alternative data in the capital markets, firms are struggling to find value, and are disillusioned by the loss of time, human capital, and money. Goldman Sachs’ Matthew Rothman believes this has created a situation where vendors and buy-side firms are promising vast riches, but much of that talk, he says, is BS. As you might expect, not everyone agrees.

“Are you willing to take the risk of investing in bullshit? Or do you think that by not investing in what might be bullshit, you’re leaving alpha on the table, and you’re going to lose to the people who are more comfortable, potentially, investing in bullshit—or found something that’s just really cool—and [that] your minds are really shallow?”

This is the controversial question posed by Matthew Rothman, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, during his opening presentation—Data Mining: The (un

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