Economic Intelligence Factory - Value extraction from Earth Observation Satellite Data for Economic Intelligence delivered as Platform as Service

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Objectives of the service

The objective of this demonstration project is to provide valuable insights from the analysis of satellite data. Earth observation data to watch and monitor at different granular levels using different resolutions, hyperspectral data and radar imaging to create standardized indicators of economic activity, from the study of key sectors of the economy.

This project aims at adding to the existing product 'Global Macro Smart Data' a significant added value layer through the analysis of satellite data, allowing to provide a granular vision of the activity of each sector of the economy. It would provide an excellent view of economic activity within a region or country compared to the current solution based on the analysis of multiple data sources including social networks, traffic data maritime, real-time job offer data, meteorological and oceanographic data, consumer reviews and more.

Users and their needs

The core business of QuantCube Technology is the provision of "Smart Data" series to financial institutions. With its strong roots in quantitative economic research, QuantCube Technology understands the needs of financial institutions, therefore is able to directly address a specific economic intelligence platform to financial players.

Our strategy is to extract synthetic indicators from massive amounts of Big Data that we collect to allow our customers to easily benefit in real time from data that would not otherwise be exploited.

Before all, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the investment industry,  artificial intelligence algorithms and different types of data to offer a competitive product that meets the expectations of our customers.

Geographically, the target market is international and consists of a variety of financial institutions such as asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds, investment banks as well as treasury department of corporates.

Service/ system concept

One of the keys to accurately measure global economic growth is the precision and fineness of measures for developing countries, which are difficult for two reasons:

- The reliability and quality of official data of developing countries is not guaranteed. This is the consequence of the weak development of statistical institutes and the lack of resources and rigor in the collection and aggregation of data or from a political desire of opacity.
- The growth of developing countries is much more erratic than that of developed countries and it justifies very largely the variations of the world growth. Indeed, although the developed countries concentrate the majority of wealth, they have reached a stage of maturity that makes their economic growth relatively stable. On the other hand, developing countries experience episodes of high volatility and higher growth rates, subjects to further variations.

Consequently, the measurement of the activity of various sectors in key developing countries brings a strong added value to our current solution 'Global Macro Smart Data', and thus it can make it possible to surpass the solutions proposed by international actors such as Orbital Insights, Planet or Descartes Labs. Indeed, the added value of our solution lies in its ability to analyze and cross different types of data sources to obtain the best possible precision on economic growth prediction.

Therefore, the addition of earth observation data to our alternative measures of the economy, combined with the analysis of market prices data, social networks data, employment data, maritime and air traffic data, would build a unique solution compared to data providers specialized in satellite data, traditional data or market sentiment data.

Space Added Value

During the kick-start project using Sentinel-2 data to create urban space series, we identified that economic applications range from estimating economic growth city by city to measuring the extension of a city.

For the pilot-demonstration project, the following space asset(s) are used in the pilot-demonstration:

  • Pleiades 1A-1B
  • Sentinel-2
  • Spot6-7
  • Landsat.

The rationale with these space assets is applying artificial intelligence and deep learning techniques to various resolutions of satellite imagery to extract various degrees of information out of them. 

The goal is to strengthen existing bricks to develop new, more accurate solutions for measuring the economy based on satellite data analytics.

QuantCube’s current macroeconomics solution currently relies on the analytics of data sources such as social media, maritime traffic or job openings in a systematic way. The addition of Earth Observation data enables us to have a much higher accuracy with our models, therefore creating value for our customers.

The results of our analysis are provided in real time via the platform of Economic Intelligence accessible via a license, on the SaaS model. Different levels of granularity are offered ranging from sector data to macroeconomic indices.

Multiple data analytics to provide macroeconomics estimation numbers in real-time is offered with a very high correlation with official numbers released months later.

Current Status

The project has started in September 2019 and the Baseline Design Review (BDR) has been completed in March 2020. The Critical Design Review (CDR) was completed in September 2020. During the first year, QuantCube Technology developed the pipeline to train the deep learning models and create the first indicators. In the next 6 months, the first indexes will be display on the platform to get the feedbacks of pilot users. 

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 14 October 2020 - Created: 08 October 2020