California startup refined technologies for collecting and processing macroeconomic data based on crowdsourcing .

Premise offers real-time economic indicators

The economic research institutes have been using the same methods of statistical collection for over fifty years , facing the outburst of collecting technologies and Big Data processing some startups try to optimize this ongoing work in order to better advise governments , multinational and investment funds . The San Francisco -based startup , Premise Data Corp. supported by several prestigious investors including Google, wants to bring a new approach to this evolving sector . Its three indicators covering various macroeconomic fields , Global Inflation Monitor, Industry Price and Food Security Intelligence Monitor benefit of this technology without friction. With this crowdsourcing approach Premise adapts traditional indicators to a globalized and  ultra-responsive  economic environment.

A real-time data collection

Officially launched in October after a two year development period, the startup relies on crowdsourced knowledge shared by individual users who screen supermarkets product tags and other various displays for real-time estimation of inflation . Premise has deployed more than 700 smartphones partners across more than 25 cities in the world to estimate the change in average prices . Afifiliated users simply take a picture with their phone and the internal software automatically detects information on prices and the exact geographical location of the specific store. In addition to these in store data, Premise automatically analyzes the evolution of prices online, such information  representing nearly 80 % of finalized reports.

Adjusting to a new digital paradigm

According to founder and CEO, David Soloff, the growth of ICT  " completely redefined human economic activity ." But he also laments the fact that most of the indicators use methods of another age. For instance the U.S Department of Labor estimates the country's inflation by deploying monthly collection teams . These reports are published after several weeks or months of treatment and are often subject to subsequent revisions troubling consumers and major macroeconomic actors. As estimated by Alan Krueger , a renowned professor of Princeton University and consultant for Premise , "There is still a Cold War element to our statistics. " Given the critical issues surrounding the measurement of inflation, especially for Giffen goods reflecting price increases, private companies step up efforts to provide quality data. These data are also critical for hedge funds trading currencies, they can adjust their investment strategies accordingly. A prime success is the Billion Prices Project aims to continuously measure a daily index based on e -commerce sites around the world, marketed by PriceStats this service already has more than 7,500 customers.
By Thomas Meyer
Journalist, Business Analyst