Financial Data Science Association

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FDSA Zurich 2015

We are pleased to report that the first Financial Data Science Association conference was held November 6-7th 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. We are, first of all, grateful to our hosts Bank J. Safra Sarasin, who provided a perfect location for our first meeting, overlooking Lake Zurich. In particular, our thanks go to the local organizer Thomas Godziek, and essential administrative assistance of Margrith Bingisser, who ensured the day went without problems.

The objective of the first meeting of FDSA was to bring together a core community of researchers and finance professionals who are passionate about the opportunity to create better synergies between data science and financial markets, to discuss and lay the foundations for future meetings and activities.

On a glorious, sunny end of week in Zurich, our select group of 30+ global participants (up to 26 in person, up to 8 via video and tele-conference) included experts  from major financial institutions such as Blackrock, PIMCO, Vanguard, MSCI, and Hermes, as well as top Artificial Intelligence and Investment Statistics research labs, Financial Technology startups, and many more established finance professionals.

The conference went ahead full steam, with plenary talks and panel discussions exemplifying the challenges being faced today, their roots, and visions for the future. Some key takeaways included rethinking the way that statistical techniques might discover patterns in data, bridging the divide between structural correlation and intuition, justifying assumptions in Financial Economics models with increasingly available data, and elucidating and elaborating our concept of “risk”, so that it can respond to market realities.

As the conference went on, it became clear that finding a strong platform for better, judiciously applied data science in finance was a common need and priority. The resounding response and commitment of this core community to the ideas presented and discussed were a welcome validation of FDSA’s founding values.

Work will continue over the coming weeks to further refine a set of Principles of Financial Data Science, and to create the materials necessary to engage both the broader financial and research communities in future activities and events.

FDSA is going global, and we want to engage all who can benefit from better standards and practices with data in finance. Stay abreast and help spread the word by following us on Twitter (#fdsaglobal) and on our website (!

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