Interview: Michael Marrale, CEO, M Science

Interview: Michael Marrale, CEO, M Science


What are you most looking forward to at the AI & Data Science in Trading conference?

  • Learning about new developments in our industry and how our partners and competitors have adapted to news ways of doing business.

  • Sharing the new solutions and services we’re providing at M Science, such as our Google Ad Spending Dashboard, our Economic Impact Dashboard, and our PE and Corporate Business Services expansions (in addition to our routinely expanding coverage list).

What are the most important factors in selecting a new solution partner?

  • If they are providing insights, do they have the most seasoned analysts? Most of our senior analysts have over 20 years’ experience.

  • Do they have a track record of winning the trust of their clients? Most alternative data companies have only 5 years’ experience. We have over 18 years’ experience gaining clients’ trust and delivering competitive insights.

  • Do I need to have internal team of data scientists to use the product? M Sciences products do not require you to have any specialized internal teams to maximize our research.

  • How many different sources of data or data partnerships do they have? Most only have a few, which can make the service unreliable if anything happens to one provider. We have several dozen data providers to date and our data acquisition strategy is always evolving.

Can you share an example of how your system has been used by a new customer? Feel free to include any feedback or practical examples

  • New customers are always inventing new ways to engage with our data solutions. Our insights and data solutions are designed to enable our investment management and corporate clients to integrate our curated data into their own workflow and process. Some clients simply read our in-depth research reports to make strategic decisions. Other clients use complex systems and an array of technological means to ingest our research.

  • Clients are using our Impact Dashboard to track trends and customize research based on their individual strategies. We are also providing the data solution to government entities and policy makers, so that the insights can be used to help experts make critical decisions in this rapidly changing consumer environment in order to stabilize our economy.

  • New private equity clients use our insights and data solutions to lead due diligence efforts, theme development, origination, deal screening, value creation and portfolio monitoring. We also work with public and private corporate clients to curate bespoke projects and deliver strategic insights on the competitive landscape, customer journey and consumer behavior.

There seems to be a lot of cynicism surrounding the use of alt data and its role in alpha generation and if you can truly find value from these datasets. How is your organisations working around this/what are your views on the future of alternative data?

  • We aren’t seeing that; conversely, we exited 2019 at record revenue and growth. More broadly, we’re seeing investors and corporations lean on our data more than ever for alpha generation.

  • Alternative data allows us to develop more meaningful, timely and useful insights into a company’s or industry’s performance; the competitive advantage we can provide to our clients is expanding every year. It is a matter of acquiring both specific data-sets and a wide range of data from a variety of sources, then effectively parsing and modelling it to understand how it applies to market dynamics.

  • The cynicism surrounding alternative data and the future of alternative data is tied to how effectively these data sets can be translated into insights and the reliability of the data sources, two areas in which we excel. It is due to our highly effective and thorough due diligence, and our dedication to continuously evolving and pioneering new solutions and methodologies.

  • Alternative data is going to continue to answer more questions faster and provide more in-depth insights across industries and sectors.

Privacy and regulation surrounding the responsibility and ownership of data is an area that is still being explored and understood. What measures are you putting in place/predicting to put in place to navigate any foreseeable data privacy challenges while searching for alpha?

  • Our data due diligence program has always been the cornerstone of our data acquisition efforts. Understanding data provenance from creation to ingestion, reviewing documentation, license agreements, and receiving contractual assurances from a data provider are just some of the ways we perform our due diligence. On an ongoing basis we work closely with all of our partners to understand and assess the impacts of any law or regulatory changes such as GDPR and CCPA on the data we receive.

What is your biggest professional achievement to date?

  • For over 15 years, in the face of evolving client demands and markets, our business continues to grow, our clients rely on us, and our insights have stood the test of time during several economic downturns.