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Barry Starr, Wall Street Horizon

Nearly half of institutional investors suffer trading losses due to bad event data

Nearly half (45 per cent) of institutional investors say that have lost money by missing a trading opportunity due to an incorrect event date, with forty per cent suffering five-figure losses and several reporting missing out on millions of dollars.

That’s according to Wall Street Horizon’s Corporate Event Research Survey, which polled over 100 institutional market participants, nearly two-thirds of whom were quantitative or discretionary fund managers. Several respondents have suffered losses in the millions.
Knowing when an event changes – both for alerting and back-testing purposes – is functionality that an overwhelming majority (80 per cent) would like to have. Currently no event data vendors provide this capability for tracked events beyond earnings. An equal number of respondents (40 per cent each) indicated they want event change notifications for competitive monitoring purposes and for tracking companies they care about.
Respondents don’t believe that speed is a significant challenge when it comes to event data tracking. Instead, the vast majority noted difficulty in finding data (42 per cent) or inaccurate data (38 per cent) as their primary struggles. 
Legacy event data providers are generally seen as having significant room to improve when it comes to accuracy, as only 12 per cent of respondents believe that the event data they consume is “very accurate”. The majority (54 per cent) believe their event provider’s data is “somewhat accurate” at best.
Earnings release dates remain the event type utilized by most (82 per cent), but the tracking of investor conference dates (65 per cent), buyback dates (52 per cent), dividend payment dates (52 per cent) and shareholder meetings (36 per cent) are all growing in popularity.
“In today’s highly sophisticated, data-driven investment environment, the impact of bad data can be catastrophic. As this survey bears out, this is especially true with event data, where inaccurate or delayed information can literally cost investors millions,” says Wall Street Horizon CEO Barry L Star (pictured). “The ability to know precisely when events move is also functionality that investors and traders are increasingly demanding, which makes sense given the importance of this data to alpha. Based on the survey results and conversations with dozens of institutional participants, we see this ‘breaking event’ capability for both for alerting and back-testing purposes as the holy grail for event data, and we’re actively working to incorporate it into the Wall Street Horizon offering.”

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