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A 4-step guide to getting usable qualitative insights

How to make qualitative insights work for your thematic investments.

In this technologically accelerated world, everything changes faster than ever – and the world of asset management is no exception.

No longer content with the same old standardised portfolio options, investors want products that are tailored to suit their interests, values and strategies.

Increasingly, that means products incorporating themes. From digital healthcare, robotics and blockchain to urbanisation and climate change, investors want in on the thematic opportunities societal change gives rise to.

Which, if you’re an Asset or Wealth Manager, means you should, too.

But before you can give investors the high-quality thematic products they want, you need to be able to consistently lay your hands on usable qualitative insights.

That’s usable as in: trustworthy, relevant, timely and integratable into your other fundamental datasets.

Armed with these, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the world and the trends taking place in it than your less diligent (or equipped) competitors – and can offer investors the high-performing thematic products they’re looking for.

So (we hear you ask) what exactly do I need to do to find and use these qualitative insights?

Great question. This blog lays out the four big steps Asset Managers need to take in order to start – and keep on – enriching thematic strategies from qualitative data.

1. Do your research

This seems like a no-brainer. Of course you need to go searching for qualitative insights in qualitative data. But actually doing it can be a big, migraine-inducing brainer.

Many of the key thematic signals and opportunity-driving critical events that you’ll be searching for on behalf of investors are hidden somewhere in a towering data mountain.

Some signals will be obvious, of course.

But while these signals are certainly relevant, investors aren’t coming to you for the obvious stuff – they want you to spot the (truly important) opportunities and risks that might have slipped under everybody else’s radar.

To consistently find these critical insights, you’ll need a way to effectively scan the landscape for thematically relevant insights.

2. Score your insights

Identifying and collecting qualitative insights is tough – and what’s more, it’s only the first step.

Because not all qualitative insights are created equal. The Internet is awash with subjective, outdated, misinformed or actively misleading information and opinion – all of which is both potentially relevant or irrelevant.

Without some way of distinguishing between what matters and what doesn’t – and what, out of the data that does matter, matters most – you won’t be able to collect the trustable, integratable and usable qualitative insights you need.

To get at those insights, you need a way to accurately and (given the sheer volume of data involved) automatically score the qualitative insights you find, according to their credibility and relevance to your interests – whether that’s specific companies, regions or thematic trends.

That will mean you can filter out the insights that don’t pass your relevance threshold – and rank the sufficiently relevant insights to help enrich your investment recommendations and decisions.

3. Map themes, signals and events to entities

Once you’ve identified and scored relevant themes, signals and events, you need to connect these to entities like companies, people and regions of interest.

This will help you determine which entities are exposed to particular themes, and how exposed individual entities are. You can then apply this knowledge to calculate the opportunities and risks involved in investing in specific companies.

To make this happen, you’ll need as holistic an understanding of the entities you’re mapping to as possible – which will require the intelligent combination of various structured and unstructured data sources.

You’ll want to know things like a company’s reported earnings and market cap, of course. But it will also help to know things like (for example) if they have a new CEO (and who they are), what the public’s perception of them is, any recent legal disputes they’ve been involved in, and if any of their operations are based in an earthquake hotspot.

The more holistic your view of entities, the more precisely you can assess the thematic relevance and exposure of companies you invest in – and the more accurate a picture you’ll have of the thematic trends themselves.

By continuously mapping themes, signals and events to entities, you’ll build up an ever-more comprehensive and granular picture of the investable world.

Which will give you a significant advantage when it comes to building high-performing thematic products.

4. Collate your insights in one easily-accessed place

You’ve made your qualitative data insights fit for use – but they’ve also got to be easily used.

To that end, you’ll want to pull them together and surface them via a user-friendly insights hub. This hub should make it easy for users to search, sort and filter insights and entities – and to build their own lists (or ‘baskets’) of companies and assets that can be sorted according to their scored thematic relevance.

With these thematic lists at hand, you’ll be able to easily see which companies rank highly (and not so highly) for the themes you and your investors care about.

How to take four steps – in one.

You can do everything you need to do to get usable qualitative insights (and use them) when you’ve got our Affinity platform to work with.

With Affinity, Asset Managers can…

  • Research: Use Affinity’s ThemeAI to rapidly scan huge volumes of qualitative data for thematic insights, discovering the hidden themes and critical events that humans might miss.
  • Score insights: Affinity’s ThemeScore scoring engine makes it simple to score (and rank) insights and entities by credibility and relevance to the criterias you define.
  • Map insights to entities: With Affinity’s ThemeGraph, you can automatically map themes, signals and events to holistically-understood entities (such as companies and people).
  • Collate insights: Pull your insights together and surface them via our user-friendly insights hub ThemeScape – easily accessing and acting on deep insights that aren’t found on typical terminal products.

Our platform does everything you need to do to make qualitative data usable for you.

So you can focus on using those insights to build better products for your (soon to be rapidly expanding) client base.

Intrigued?

Follow the link below to find out more about how our platform covers the four steps above in one giant leap for Asset Managers.

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