One thought for the Q team is to consider how they might decouple the data from the limitations of their platform for the masses. My sense is that it'll be challenging to take a stab at questions like yours until they sort this out. I'd asked several times regarding the possibility of Q employees (not users) accessing data in an open fashion (e.g. pipe it to a pc at their desk), but there was no response. On https://www.quantopian.com/data, I see:
With all third party data provided on this site, Quantopian restricts its use to this website. These restrictions are part of the deal we've struck with the data providers. We suggest trying out the research environment as an alternative.
Perhaps this extends to employees, even it the data were kept within the Q network?
I guess if I were a Q employee interested in trying to answer forward-looking research questions, I would quickly run out of patience with the limitations of the platform (don't get me wrong...the fact that it is out there for 90,000+ users for free at a basic level is a real feat!). To me, the question isn't "Is that even possible with Pipeline in Research?" but rather are the data available to run on an open platform? Or does the licensing preclude it? If the data are accessible, then what would it cost hardware-wise to start playing around? My guess is ~ $5K? ~$10K? A bit pricey, but then Point72 has $250M burning a hole in their pocket (at least that is the marketing spin).
The point would not be for Q to start competing with its users in developing strategies, but rather to show what might be possible, and to provide a path for eventual deployment to users. As things stand now, it seems like they're kinda hamstrung by the platform to look out more than a few months.