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FinTech Exchange: Haraburda Says Alternative Data the Next Step

How big is your data set?

Mark Haraburda, CEO of Barchart, which hosts the FinTech Exchange 2017 conference last month, said the data space is quickly expanding and innovating in new ways.

“This year the event has been focused on data, the way data is delivered, the way data is stored, the way data is analyzed and visualized as well as the new types of data in the alternative data space,” he said.

Haraburda and Barchart see a lot of potential in the alternative data space, especially in the types of data derived from satellite imagery. Everything from agriculture production and delivery of grain to economic fundamentals based on retail stores or computer manufacturers is being repackaged into data sets that investors and traders can use in the markets. And with the heavy push into cloud services, that data is more accessible than ever, Haraburda said.

“In the commodities markets you can actually look at the supplies of energy, the condition of crops using satellite imagery to tracking the amount of grain that may be flowing between elevators and the river,” Haraburda said.

Going forward, Haraburda said the trend is toward taking that data and integrating it with machine learning technology. There is also a lot focus on data mining and “massive, massive storage sets.”

“It’s very exciting and keeping us on our toes, and developing relationships with firms we’ve never had before,” he said.


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Kharouf is a Chicago-based freelance reporter and editor who was previously CEO and editor-in-chief of John Lothian News.