The Satellites Are Watching Us…To Figure Out Quarterly Business Performance

September 2, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Micro-satellites, artificial intelligence, and social media are all being used to cut through the marketing and figure out the real state of businesses writes The Economist:

  • Want to figure out if your local Walmart is struggling? Satellite imagery is used to approximate daily revenue by checking on how full the parking lot is.
  • Factory productivity can be estimated by the number of lorries that pass through.
  • The height of oil tanks varies according to the amount of oil in the tank. A taller evening shadow means greater oil reserves.
  • Market moving events will be reported on social media before anywhere else. Savvy investors can make a quick buck by using social media analytics.
  • One smartphone app measures how frequently users stop in a store. Any more than five minutes and it likely means they’re a patron.

Read other examples of alternative-data over here.

Source: The Economist