Forefront Communications

Institutional Investor: The Next Big Source of Alpha — Your Phone?

Mark Dowd

Mark Dowd

A new alternative data platform aims to turn insights streamed from mobile phone locations into a source of returns for fund managers.

Could geolocation information gleaned from mobile phones be the next big source of alpha? At least one company is betting that it will.

Thasos, an alternative data platform founded out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s famed MIT Media Lab in 2011, is going live with a service offering insights culled from mobile phones broadcasting their locations in real-time, aiming to capitalize on fund managers’ seemingly unquenchable thirst for all things big data.

Called Streams, the service collects real-time data from mobile phones to deliver insights on such metrics as foot traffic in retail businesses, deliveries to loading docks, and hours worked on assembly lines. Using geolocation and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, the service aims to shed light on what’s happening in real time in particular businesses, specific markets such as real estate, and global economies.

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