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Contest Ready but I can do better

I have a version that performs better, but uses Fetch_CSV to get PMI, so it's obviously ineligible for contest entry. And with that limitation in mind I ask, why doesn't Quantopian expose PMI data? It's free on Quandl, you would think the biggest leading indicator (besides the market itself) would be of great importance to any quantitative strategy... especially ones that must conform to turnover constraints. My understanding is that GDP, CPI and Unemployment claims (lagging indictors) are largely only relevant as confirmations of economic trend with regard to PMI. Please correct me if I am mistaken in my understanding, but I'm really hoping someone can address why Quantopian doesn't offer this otherwise easily obtainable data set. Also, any criticism on the attached tear-sheet would be greatly appreciated.

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7 responses

Stephan - You should use Self-Serve Data to upload your own dataset. Custom datasets uploaded via Self-Serve Data are allowed in the contest. Given that you have some ideas on how to incorporate PMI in your strategy, I'd recommend uploading it via Self-Serve and adding it to your algorithm's pipeline.

fetch_csv is not allowed in the contest because it doesn't maintain a historical record of updated data, meaning it can be manipulated to make a backtest score highly after it was submitted (introduces lookahead bias). At some point, we will look to remove this function from the API. Self-Serve is currently the best way to upload custom datasets.

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Does Quantopian have any plans on bringing in Quandl's PMI dataset?

Not at this time, no. We are currently focused on adding datasets from FactSet's catalog. If you want to use PMI data in your algorithm, creating a custom dataset via Self-Serve is your best option.

ok thanks

Jamie,
I created a self-serve data set for PMI as you suggested. I add a dummy symbol to the CSV that I import (SPY), since I just want to extract PMI for a given period. However, I'm having difficulty understanding how to lookback in my self serve data set. Typically I would implement a custom factor ala'

class getpmi(CustomFactor):  
        inputs = [test_dataset.pmi]  
        window_length = 20  
        def compute(self, today, assets, out, pmi):  
            out[:] = pmi[-1] - pmi[-2]  

...but it just returns:
getpmi([test_dataset<US>.pmi], 20)

I just want the difference of the last two periods. Sorry for my ignorance but how do i iterate through this self serve data set? I'm confused.

I hacked a workaround by holding last month in memory....

So how do I remove a self serve dataset from my list of datasets @ https://www.quantopian.com/account#data? Or/And how do I update an existing self serve dataset? I understand that setting up live data is probably the best way to maintain a dataset but for the meantime I would just like to update but it dones't seem possible?