Interview with Noel Bosco, SVP with Facteus By: Suzy Silliman
Suzy sat down with Noel Bosco, a Senior VP with NRS data partner Facteus to discuss the partnership and how NRS data is being used by the Financial Community as an exciting and growing trend the use of “alternative data” to better read and anticipate market performance.
Suzy: For our readers who are not familiar with Facteus, what is your “elevator pitch”?
Noel: Facteus, Inc. (“Facteus”) is a provider of financial data business intelligence solutions for financial institutions, payment processors, investment companies, and retail corporations. Through its innovative synthetic data process Facteus can transform raw transaction data from legacy technologies into actionable information, which enables companies to make intelligent business decisions, automate manual operational tasks, and optimize their data strategies. Facteus’s team of data scientists and financial services industry veterans provide source data for billions of transactions from more than 6,000 financial services companies to deliver timely, rich insights that can be used for machine learning, artificial intelligence, data monetization, and other strategic use cases.
Suzy: You often refer to “alternative data” – what does that mean and why should companies be seeking out “alternative data” to make better informed decision?
Noel: The term alternative data is an industry term that as our Head of Marketing put it, is like the use of the phrase Alternative when it comes to music. Alternative data really is data that is outside of what a company might have in their ordinary course of business. The data can come in many forms from transaction data to opinion data or things like social media sentiment data. A variety of data points that help a company ultimately have a better understanding of a particular problem by leveraging as many data points as possible.
Suzy: What role do you play in the Facteus/NRS partnership?
Noel: My role is to work with our data partners and clients to ensure that Facteus continues to build data products and technology that help our client base solve their business problems by monetizing the data we receive from our partners in an industry leading safe and compliant manner using our proprietary synthetic data process.
Suzy: What interested Facteus about the NRS dataset, specifically integrating it into the products that you provide to the Financial Community?
Noel: Facteus is interested in truly alternative data, and in the case of NRS, the data represents the spend behavior of a population that is not well represented in the larger players that provide CPG type data and reporting. The nature of the payments being cash is also a key factor as well as the geo locations of the stores that are covered by the NRS client base. While not as large a set of data as you might be able to get from a big-box store, it provides unique insight into an underrepresented customer demographic filling a gap in the alternative data industry.
Suzy: How has the market responded to the availability of this information or insights derived from this information?
Noel: The market has responded very well, with enthusiasm because of the unique and differentiated nature of the data because it comes from “alternative” types of stores with a unique demographic profile of shoppers. One of the popular use cases is around energy drinks and soda alternatives, not just the publicly traded ones, but what privately held companies are up and coming.
Suzy: Your investor clients “make sense of it all” through your analytics platform Quantamatics. How is Quantamatics a differentiator for Facteus? How does Quantamatics make it easier for the financial community to derive value from the NRS dataset?
Noel: The value driver that Facteus brings to our users with Quantamatics + our data is enabling a larger population have access and utilize alternative data without having to have a large infrastructure and data scientists to handle the data by itself. One of the most common tools most analysts utilize is Excel, where they are performing their projections. Facteus technology allows these users to take the volumes of data, analyze it and deliver it, right into their existing Excel workbook without having to login to other platforms, cut and paste etc. Bringing the insights we have to our clients in the context of their work is a key differentiator and allows us to provide these insights to a larger base of clients.
Suzy: Many of our readers are CPG leaders. What do they need to think about now that Analysts, Funds, etc have access to this and other alternative data? Do you have any recommendations for the CPG CFO?
Noel: Facteus is unique in the market because of the diversity of our data, from consumer card transaction data, to SKU level data, Facteus helps our client have a broader perspective on not only company performance, but general trends and macro indicators. Facteus’ client base is not only made up of investment funds, but brands and retailers that also want to know what investors are seeing. In fact, the Federal Reserve uses Facteus data to help them understand how their fiscal policies are impacting the US consumer is impacted. Some of Facteus’ clients that are brands and corporates have utilized the data for corporate strategy, store location analysis based on economic activity, marketing for audience segments, demographic data analysis and beyond.