State Street and AXA to work on big data project

State Street and AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) today announced a collaboration with State Street and MKT MediaStats to evaluate data-driven indicators that help analyse economic and market information.

MKT MediaStats is focused on financial market implications of increasingly available ‘big data’ from multiple sources, and is founded and led by well-known academic researchers. It leverages and extends into the commercial realm of considerable academic research done by its partners. The State Street PriceStats inflation series is a daily measure of inflation derived from prices posted to public websites by hundreds of online retailers.

“AXA IM, MKT MediaStats and State Street share a commitment to exploring new data sources that can enhance our ability to make timely and well-informed investment decisions,” said Joseph Pinto, chief operating officer at AXA Investment Managers.

“Leveraging these big-data solutions will allow us to advance our client service on multiple fronts. Not only are we increasing the amount of knowledge available to us, but we are also cutting down on the amount of time spent manually sorting through information resources. We are excited about the opportunities offered by big data and our collaboration with State Street and MKT MediaStats are two efforts in a series of initiatives we are exploring at AXA IM aimed at exploiting data for the benefit of our clients.”

“The digital age has vastly expanded the data sources available to investors, so much so that it has become imperative to consume and analyse information quickly and accurately,” said Jessica Donohue, chief innovation officer for State Street Global Exchange. “Investor success in the coming years will continue to largely depend on the ability to rapidly access and synthesise an exponential amount of information. Our goal is to bridge the gap between financial decision making and academic thinking to help investors achieve their return and risk objectives.”

MKT MediaStats was founded by Gideon Ozik, affiliate professor at Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales du Nord (EDHEC) Business School and former hedge fund manager at Société Générale; Professor Ronnie Sadka, chair of the Finance Department at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management; Ken Froot, professor at Harvard Business School and founding partner of FDO Partners; and Hadar Shezifi, technology entrepreneur and former architect at Neustar. MKT uses unstructured data from many sources, including 25,000 distinct media sources, to derive a wide variety of indications of market behavior, such as sentiment, price movements, risk, and liquidity of individual assets.

The State Street PriceStats inflation indices are generated using software that scans the underlying code on public websites to capture the full array of products sold by online retailers, including food, beverages, electronics, apparel, furniture, household products, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medicines. The technology monitors price fluctuations on roughly five million items sold by hundreds of online retailers in more than 70 countries. The PriceStats methodology is grounded in the extensive body of research of MIT professors Alberto Cavallo and Roberto Rigobon and their Billion Prices Project at MIT. Cavallo and Rigobon have leveraged this research and their expertise in monetary economics to develop the PriceStats indices.