September 2020

(This post was also published on

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly shaken the world. No other event in recent history had led to such a revolution in our lifestyle, nor had forced countries to halt their economic activity by implementing nationwide lockdowns. As the crisis was unfolding rapidly, standard economic indicators were initially of little use. Alternative sources could offer a helping hand, but they often require digging through the piles of non-standardized data. This can be a huge problem if you want to quickly come up with a view on the topic. With this blog post we are going to show you how to get some of the alternative-data indicators just in the right shape, to support your COVID-19 project.

An example: Covid-19 and electricity

In general, GDP and economic aggregates are easi...

February 2020

I already emphasized that Big Data changes the way data analysts think and work. Even hedge funds and stock traders adjust their positions in reaction to information delivered through alternative data channels. For instance, the flight information that a jet belonging to Occidental Petroleum landed at an airport in Omaha, helped the traders anticipate that the company was about to receive an extra capital injection of USD 10bn from Warren Buffett (read FT article). While many of the alternative data sets are premium, there is a fairly large amount available to the public. For quite some time I have been curious to explore them in detail and, as it turned out, a small proof-of-concept project offered an opportunity to do it.

The goal was to check if the satell...

September 2019

The topic of big data has been recently in the spotlight, coming to the attention of not only data scientists and researchers but even journalists and Internet enthusiasts. As a buzzword it has penetrated the environment to such a great extent that nearly everybody that I speak with asks if my methodological papers can be applied to big data. And honestly, after browsing through countless resources and talking with multiple experts, I am finally able to conclude: yes. But coming to this conclusion required putting some big data concepts together, which I could not find written explicitly elsewhere. I therefore depict my personal point of view below.

For me, the topic of big data was difficult to comprehend due to its terminology, which comes from across multiple disciplines. Starting with the term ‘big data’, what distinguishes between the fields is not the word ‘data’, but rather the word ‘big’. Of course, different sciences work with di...

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M. Wolski
Marcin Wolski, PhD
Advisor to Vice-President
European Investment Bank
E-mail: M.Wolski (at)
Phone: +352 43 79 88708

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