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Harvest Data Trends

Introducing the Harvest Interest Score: Judging Investor Interest Through Data

by Harvest
on September 22, 2017

Introducing the Harvest Interest Score: Judging Investor Interest Through Data

Harvest’s A.I. analyzes millions of data points each month that feed into its proprietary machine learning engine. These algorithms serve to put the most relevant and interesting investment content in front of Harvest’s users, and the data science team works with clients to identify interesting trends embedded in that data.

Today Harvest introduces two proprietary indicators that identify:

  1. General interest that investors have in a given topic, called the “Harvest Interest Score,” an
  2. The inflection point where the magnitude of investor interest changes

The three charts below examine the interest in 3 investment themes that have been relevant of late: volatility, quant and ESG investing. These themes have dominated national and trade media in the last year and we wanted to see if Harvest users’ interest lined up with that of news organizations.

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Harvest did not create these indicators as a means of predicting of asset flows into particular strategies. If anything, such a correlation would be coincidental. However, these indicators have the potential to provide investment organizations with insights into what their audience cares about and how they can adapt their content marketing plans accordingly.

How the Interest Score Is Calculated and Displayed

We create the Interest Score based on a rolling average calculation across Harvest’s entire member base and display the trend line in monthly increments. We also adjust for the volume of content on any topic in order to represent the purest way of measuring real interest of a topic.

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While the trend lines are interesting in and of themselves, we noticed that there were often dramatic spikes in investor interest that preceded more sustained levels of interest.

Similarly, prolonged drops in interest were often accompanied by inflection points.

We represent an inflection point predicting a significant increase in reader activity as a green up arrow, and a prediction of a decrease in reader activity as a red down arrow. If the inflection point is especially pronounced, we circled the arrow.  

Analyzing Each Chart

Each chart dates back to August 2016 to measure the interest in readership over a one-year period.

All three topics generated a dramatic increase in interest in November 2016, coinciding with the US presidential election. But not all topics sustained the same level of reader interest from that point on.

Interest in “volatility” waned starting in January, and market volatility itself has remain muted since despite daily headlines of geopolitical risk and two rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. There was a renewed rise in interest in the spring, but not near post-election levels, and interest dropped again soon after.

Similar to volatility, “quant”’s Interest Score faded at the start of 2017, but rebounded in February and has sustained itself since.

“ESG” (which stands for environmental, social, and governance) had the longest period of sustained interest of our three topics, with the first negative inflection point of interest coming in July. Though it’s unclear why, one could posit that this corresponds with the current administration’s initiatives to roll back certain environmental and financial regulations. As investors incorporate ESG principles into their portfolio, this is not surprising.