The Great Indian Data Suckage Story

Economic Times has an article with a list of stocks that are "lower than their book value":

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Except smart readers have already figured out:

Many companies- TATA GLOBAL, KALPATARU have gone for stock split during this financial year and hence the book value per share is to be arrived at after considering the split/ bonus. Readers generally take the information given in esteemed publications like Economic Times at face value. Please be careful and double-check the numbers before publishing

Er. Bad data, ETIG database?

Or, simply that data sucks in India? Oh wait. Don't get me started. Data sucks in India. Data is disgustingly poor. Web sites - even the NSE's own site - shows graphs without adjusting bonuses and splits.

HDFC SPlit

(Note: Reader Chinmay warns  me that I am part of the data suckage story. I noted a 10:1 split on HDFC first - but it really was a 5:1 split. Apologies, and it's been corrected)

And missing data:

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(The data exists, of course)

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In other cases, I've seen things like:

  • Confusion about whether to use consolidated or standalone data
  • Wrong information on things like book value or EPS
  • Very delayed updates - if a company released earnings today, there was no update for the next few days
  • No real parsing of news like insider trading or announcements
  • No proper cleaning of data (How can High be less than Open?)
  • And then, no proper visualization - how do you make people understand?

There's always going to be scope for a good data service in India, for fundamental and technical data, with clean base and derived pieces. The business model takes more than a crore to set up, to deliver the best kind of value; there's institutional and trading clients, and the model has been fairly successful abroad. We don't have the money. But the time will come, the time will come.