Alphacast Dev Diary

By alphacast

Repo with the log of updates to the website and dataset.

Alphacast Dev Diary's insights

  • Alphacast is expanding to Latin America!

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    Explore Alphacast to discover hundreds of new datasets and analyze the macro and financial dynamics of major economies. Keep track of daily events with the new dashboards and learn how to enhance your own work with our guides and tutorials. New Macro Dashboards Alphacast now hosts thousands of Latin American Datasets for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. For each country, we have created an interactive dashboard with at least 30 charts to keep up to date with the short-term economic outlook. Dashboards are updated every day with the most recent data. Remember that you can copy and clone everything you see on those dashboards. Create your own charts or pipelines to transform the data, add your own format and colors and branding. Feel free to reuse everything at your own will. Click on the country name to access its dashboard: Argentina - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Mexico - Peru - Uruguay Beginners' guides to Latin America Data For every country, we have made a selection of the most relevant and popular datasets. Follow the beginners' guidelines for each country to discover hidden data gems and sources. Find out what are the most relevant datasets...

  • It's one small step for Alphacast, one giant leap for data

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    It's one small step for Alphacast, one giant leap for data Hello, everyone! It's been a couple of weeks since our last update. We have been doing a lot of work under the hood, particularly trying to improve the readiness of the data on the platform, the overall performance of the Notebooks, and the content you see when you interact with Alphacast (i.e. through emails, related datasets, etc). However, there have been major additions to our pipeline engine. Enjoy X new step! New Steps: FRED! If you work with economic data you probably know FRED, the massive database created by the US Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, that claims to have 816,000 US and international time series from 108 sources. You can now access all that data directly into Alphacast, using Alphacast pipelines. Learn more here. New Steps: Wide to Long (melt), Long to Wide (unstack) If you work with data you probably have come to the scenario where you have found the data you need but not in the shape that you need it. A typical example is when data that should be row values are columns or otherwise, a situation that cannot be solved by simply transposing...

  • Alphacast Wednesday Update - April 13th, 2022

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    The last weeks have been great. We have seen lots of users flowing into what we think is becoming the core feature of Alphacast: the pipelines engine. We have been interviewing users and seeing how you are interacting with these new features: We discovered that users are not only creating pipelines to automatize processes but also as a workspace, to analyze the data and be able to "tell stories" with it. That's why we have come to a new product roadmap for Q2:2022: Notebooks! Introducing Alphacast Notebooks! Creating content in Alphacast often involves a back and forth between tabs. Search data, then go from Dataset to Pipeline, Back to Datasets, then to create a chart and then an insight to embed it, and back to square one. Complex pipelines and reports require no less than five open Tabs. We are working to combine the full experience of creating content into a single screen. Load the data, transform and visualize it, include comments, and tell the story. Use the new "Notebook" as a workspace to find, analyze and share data. As a first step, a new feature is in test mode: you can now create and edit a chart directly in...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - April 1st, 2022

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    March and Q1 have come to an end and, when we compare the platform today vs. what we had just one month ago we see changes almost everywhere! Let us do a short recap of what happened in the last two weeks. A new, super-powerful formula editor: Group, rolling windows, time functions and much more. The "Calculate Variable" is getting VERY powerful and versatile allowing more complex calculations to be done with a simple excelish formula parser. See the full list of formulas here The first step is to create a pipeline (click on "Create new --> Pipeline" on the top right) and select a data source, followed by "add step below --> Calculate Variable" Video Tutorial (In Spanish) The editor is really powerful, just to catch a glimpse on some formulas that can be created log(@Close)+ sqrt(@Volume)) log(exp(@Close)) Example: Calculate for each ticker the cumulative price change vs the first price Example: Calculate the cumulative sales per salesperson cumsum(@sales, @salesperson) Example: Calculate for each date the share of sales explained by each product vs the total sales of that date Example: calculate the 20 day moving average for each ticker rollingmean(@Close, 20, @Ticker) Example: Extract the year from the...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - March 11th, 2022

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    Welcome to another update! There are new features and improvements almost everywhere in the platform, as we have been focusing on User Experience, navigation, and bug fixing. You should notice faster navigation, better search results, and small updates everywhere. The most highlighted pieces of news are: Publishers Publishing! We have seen a lot of publishers' activity this week. Find out content by: Econviews Econ.uy Enrique Roura 1 2 Ivan Baumann CREEBBA The course "Automation of Economic and Financial Analysis" has begun Watch the video and presentation of the first class, or subscribe here. Next class, on Wednesday 16th, will be about pipelines and transformations. New Learning Center & Home Page We have made a full revamp of our Learning Center and our Home Page. In the new Learning Center, you will find improved documentation, examples, tutorials, and more. Advanced formula editor (conditionals, shift, and more) We have powered up the "Calculate Variable" step in the pipelines editors. There is now more flexibility to calculate new columns in a more "Excelish" way. There are now two new functionalities to the formula editor: Conditionals and the possibility to Shift the data N periods: A positive N lead will move the data N...

  • Alphacast Friday MEGA update - February 25th, 2022

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    Today is one of those weeks where we can celebrate a new set of features that will have a major impact on the way users can interact with Alphacast. In our previous update we've described how we are working to improve the overall data search & explore experience. This week we have deployed in production three new groups of features (1) Financial & Technical Analysis Toolkit (2) new data integrations and (3) new community content sections. Financial and Technical Analysis Toolkit. A couple of months ago we began to work silently on a new set of features requested by users and clients that are finally coming to light. The final objective is to use the pipeline's engine to perform full no-code financial analysis, trading strategy design, and portfolio back testing. As a first step towards this goal, we have just launched a new step on the pipelines to estimate 130 metrics on financial assets, Metrics include a number of cycles, momentum, volatility and volume Indicators, standard overlap studies, patterns recognition techniques, or statistic functions. This is an example dataset of every metric estimated for AAPL Check out this insights for a full list of functions Cycle Indicators Momentum Indicators Volume...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - February 18th

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    Hi! It's been a couple of weeks since our last update. We are eager to show you our recent work. We have reached 1,500 users!! We are very happy to see our community growing. Seven months after relaunching and opening the platform in June 2021 we have reached 1.500 users. You are not only downloading data but also, at a growing speed, creating content. There are now almost 500 user-created datasets, that complement the 1.500 coming from the Alphacast Team. We are very grateful for your support and engagement Explore explore explore! New explore Home and recommended-for-you Finally, the new explore experience is here. We have been working on making it easier to discover new data on the platform in three ways: A new Home for the Explore section, where you can navigate categories, trending datasets, new content and have a more comprehensive view of what can be found on Alphacast. Recommended for you: We have been doing some data alchemy to find out what you may be interested in based on your behavior on the website. Improved search results: The search results from the top bare are getting smarter and smarter. Check them out! Alphacast "Automation of economic and...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - January 28th, 2022

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    The new pipeline engine is finally here. We are very happy to announce that the Beta version of our new pipelines engine is now live. Just click "Create new" on the top right and then "Pipeline V2.0". To create a Pipeline define its name and the Repository where it will be stored. Endless possibilities are now opening with the ability to process the data within the platform. One step closer to our aim of creating a single global collaborative database. The first step in a Pipeline is selecting a dataset as a source. Once selected there are seven steps currently available to transform and process the data. These steps are the following: Rename Column & Select Column Rename Column & Select Column are used to, well, filter columns from the dataset and change their names. Calculate variable Calculate variable is a general-purpose formula parser where you can write the transformation that you need. Most standard arithmetic is accepted. If you need some specific transform just let us not Change frequency With Change Frequency users can resample the time-frequency of the dataset moving from Daily to monthly, quarterly, and yearly back and forth. When doing so the user has to select...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - January 21st

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    What a week! As we've described in the recent Friday update, we are focusing our efforts on two fronts: More Data and a more powerful Pipeline Engine. Let us describe where we are standing and where we are heading New premium Publisher on the marketplace. Econ.uy We are excited to introduce you to econ.uy. our new Premium publisher providing A LOT of new content for Uruguay,with 60 public datasets and lots of content for a subscription. You can subscribe to their content and receive daily updates of more than 50 private datasets for just USD 20 per month following this link Lots of new global data There are hundreds of new datasets in Alphacast, and the pace of the addition of new content is accelerating. We look forward to adding lots of new content in the coming weeks. Paraguay Macro Basics now has 51 datasets Colombia Macro Basics now has 40 datasets Peru Macro Basics now has 100 datasets Mexico Macro Basics now has 75 datasets Africa Information Highway and African Development Bank Socio-Economic Database New Data for Argentina Markets, mostly coming from MAVSA and MAE INDEC's household survey With so much data comes great responsibility. We understand that entropy...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - January 14th, 2022

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    As we presented in our previous update, we kept working on our new pipelines engine. We have now reached features parity with our previous engine, so we are ready to start testing internally before we launch it to everyone. In this update, we are showing how some of the new features compare with our previous ones, and we hope you will find the new experience easier (and more fun) to use: Pipeline Migrations We have automated the migration of our previous pipelines definitions. This means that once we launch the new pipelines platform, you will be able to edit your previously created pipelines, and extend them with new features included in the new platform (such as merge dataset). As an example, check the "lineal combination" definition in our previous admin tool: Compared to the "Calculate Variable" step, with the given calculation already migrated: Datasets search When creating a pipeline, you usually need to indicate where data will come from, and where it should go to. In the past, you would need to remember in which repository your dataset was stored, in order to select it: We are now using our Search Engine, and as you start typing the name of...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - January 7th, 2022

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    Happy New Year! 2021 was great. In December, we took a couple of days to work on planning for 2022, and we are already at full speed working on new features. Check out our latest updates: New Pipelines Editor We are working on a new Pipelines Editor. This is a really ambitious project, that will change dramatically the way data can be processed within the platform. You will be able to create complex and powerful pipelines, process, merge, transform the data. Apply models, forecasting methods, and even create your own pythonic scripts. So here are a few first peaks at the editor. Stay tuned! Merge Datasets Probably the most requested feature we had from many customers. Alphacast already saves a lot of work to our users by providing easy access to financial and economic data. But combining data in Excel is still a lot of work, and you need to deal with multiple sheets or files at the same time. The new pipeline editor allows to merge with a given Dataset, allowing to indicate how the matching should be done. Calculate Variables Our current pipelines editor allows defining simple linear combinations between variables within a dataset. We have taken a...

  • Alphacast Thursday Update - December 30th

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    This short week between Christmas and the end of the year was highly productive. We'd like to share with you some news on Alphacast User Survey We received great feedback from you with the user survey. We now have a better understanding on what is the value given to the different features of the platform. This is a critical input for us. Thank you all for the time you spent answering it. We really appreciate it. If you did not answer the survey and would like to do it now please follow this link Print insights Among the most requested feature in the survey was having the ability to print and download the insights to PDF. You can now do that! Next to the "Open in Fullscreen" link, you will find the option to print the insight. Tags on datasets and insights Tags, tags, tags. You have also requested to have the ability to organize your data easier. Users can now add tags to datasets and insights and we will soon add the experience to search and explore tags. Tags on datasets Tags on insights Multiple charts on a single chart and other features! We have also done updates to...

  • Alphacast Yearly Update - 2021

    Dear Users! Our first year is coming to an end and we would like to share with you some of the achievements that we have managed to do in 2021 and what our plans are for next. We are sincerely grateful for the engagement that you have made with our platform. We are looking forward to making your life easier in the future!! 2021 in a nutshell We began 2020 with just an MVP, a WordPress website, a visualization engine, a simple excel add-in, and about 200 datasets. In June we launched a revamped fully operational version of the platform, and we rebuilt the UX/UI from scratch. With the new platform, you can now find data, buy and sell content, create custom charts and datasets, transform the data within the platform, integrate it with other tools, and explore other users' ideas. In more detail: Data: Our datasets grew from zero to about 1.300 datasets! During the year we've also given the users the ability to create their own datasets and provided integration with CSV, Excel, Google Drive, and API to the users. Also, we've created a Python Library. With that feature, users have created more than 300 user-created datasets. We...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - December 10th

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    In previous updates we've described many features like new insight view, new charting experience, improved search, followers and following, import from Google Drive and Excel, autosync, open-source and more. We are really happy because today's news complete the product objectives that we had set for in Q4:2021. Stay tuned as many exciting things are coming in 2022!! New Home section and navigation You may have notices that the navigation of the platform has changed. There are now three distinct sections: Home, Explore and Learn Home is where you will find your stuff and the stuff from your team. It works as your workbench. You can find your repositories, those you follow and those from your network. Your bookmarks, datasets and more. Explore is where you can search for ideas, repositories and data. This was the basic experience of Alphacast up to now. Learn is where you can, well, learn how to use Alphacast, find documentation, examples, templates, etc. We are looking forward on hearing your thoughs on what else would you like to find here. The Marketplace The Marketplace is finally here! You can suscribe yourself or your team directly to the premium content of our publishers for example here...

  • Alphacast is going public!!!

    Sorry, that was clickbait. We are not going public (yet) but we are happy to announce that we are going open-source. We are sharing thousands of hours of work in scripts that connect the data out there with Alphacast's repositories. The code is now public and can be found on Github. Why we are doing this? Because we need your help. We are creating a collaborative platform for processing, sharing, and monetizing decision-making data and analysis. We have created 1.100 datasets collecting data from hundreds of sources. This figure grows on a daily basis, but we want to pump those numbers up!! There are many ways you can be part of this. Do you have any data-related code that you would like to share? Send a Pull Request to any of the GitHub repos or write us to hello@alphacast.io We will sponsor the work of our contributors, so if you think there is anything where you can help let us know at hello@alphacast.io. We have lots of work to do in our backlog, now open as issues on the main Repository. Resend this note to any data-intense friend who may be interested. Anyone, anywhere. Help us spread the word As...

  • Alphacast MEGA Update - November 5th

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    HI! We've been silent for a couple of weeks because we have been working on some major features of the platform that we are happy to announce. Here we go: Search experience, Google Drive + Excel, new Insights view, Staff Picks, and profile pics, New Publishers (Econviews / CREEBBA). new chart types and editing options, new maps, annotations New Search experience We've made a complete overhaul of the search experience. The "Search" now looks for results in all the assets classes (insights, datasets, variables, repositories, users) and will provide more precise results throughout the platform. No more dozens of unrelated results. Also, we are now doing analytics on user behavior to rearrange the data and provide a better user experience. I.e. Datasets can now be sorted by popularity and soon all the assets will be related and recommended based on user interactions (think of "Users who have downloaded this dataset have also downloaded this one") New datasets upload, Excel integration & Google Drive auto-update. We also have a new data import experience. No more fighting with the CSV structure and date formats to have your data on the repo. You can now import CSV & Excel files and define the...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - October 15th, 2021

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    Another week has passed and we have made great progress in three product areas: improving the user journey, data integration, and the insights experience. Find out more below. Upload directly from Google Drive So far, you have two options to upload data to your dataset. Either use the API - or the Pyhon library - or the, let's face it, clumsy import CSV interface. We are working in the last stitches of a new, friendlier option: Upload the data to your dataset directly to an Excel file - or CSV - in your Google Drive or from a GoogleSheet. This is how it works! You select a file from your Google Drive, do some basic configuration (dataset description, variables, repository, etc) and click save. Next, you select how often you want that dataset to be refreshed. Once per hour? Per day? Per week? Of course, you can always update the dataset on demand by clicking "Sync now". Alphacast will go and fetch the data automatically. If, for example, you have charts, dashboards, or pipelines connected to that dataset they will also auto-update. That's it. New Insights experience and Staff Picks We have a new Insights exploration experience. The insights wall...

  • Alphacast Friday Update - October 8th, 2021

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    This was a great week. We managed to launch three major features (see below) and lot's of minor improvements that are having their impact on performance and an overall less buggy experience (for the users and for ourselves). Alphacast Python Library The new Alphcast Python Library is finally here! just "pip install alphacast" and you can start downloading and uploading and creating without having to read all the API documentation Downloading data is as simple as from alphacast import Alphacast alphacast = Alphacast(YOURAPIKEY) df = alphacast.datasets.dataset(datasetid).downloaddata("pandas") you can also create datasets with the library, and upload data to your repositories with: alphacast.datasets.dataset(datasetid).uploaddatafromdf(df) See the full documentation here: https://alphacast-python-sdk.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ Sync Now Our data update scripts run every day at night. We search hundreds of websites and upload the data into the repositories. Sometimes once a day is not enough. If you know that a number has been published but you don't see it reflected on the dataset you can now ask the dataset to Sync Now. This will tell the crawlers "go fetch the data now". It may take a couple of minutes to update we believe, but we expect this to have a major impact on data readiness. Followers and...