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Frequently Asked Questions


About Estimize

What is Estimize?

Estimize is an open financial estimates platform that aggregates fundamental estimates from independent, buy-side, and sell-side analysts, along with those of private investors and students. Estimize is more accurate than Wall Street 74% of the time.

By sourcing estimates from a diverse community of individuals, Estimize provides data that is not only more accurate, but is also more representative view of expectations when compared to sell-side-only data sets which suffer from demonstrable biases.

Our goal at Estimize is to give the market a transparent data set of true expectations, while providing analysts with a platform to build a verifiable track record.

Watch Estimize Explained in 2 Minutes »

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How is Estimize different from “whisper number” sites?

The term “whisper number” says it all: it’s an opaque, secret, private number that no one quite understands. Estimize does represent expectations beyond the sell side, but is otherwise antithetica in being a transparent, public platform where inputs to the consensus number and the opinions of each analyst are easily viewed and tracked over time.

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How does Estimize make money?

We’re certainly not running a nonprofit here at Estimize, but philosophically a major part of our goal is to provide the market with an open and transparent set of estimate data accessible by everyone.

Estimize makes money by selling a feed of all estimates made on the platform through an API in real time to investment firms which write algorithms against it to trade quantitatively. If you are interested in purchasing access to the Estimize API, please fill out this form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

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Contribution

Who contributes to Estimize?

55,105 individuals now contribute to the Estimize platform.

Analysts, traders, and portfolio managers from many prominent hedge funds, asset management firms, mutual funds and independent research firms contribute to Estimize. Contributing analysts also include many industry experts, corporate finance professionals, independent investors, and students who all add their unique view to the platform.

Our goal at Estimize is to produce a more accurate and representative measure of expectations for corporate earnings while identifying the best analysts, regardless of their identity or affiliation. By providing an open platform where a wide range of individuals with different background and viewpoints contribute, Estimize far better represents the market’s true expectation compared to existing sell-side-only estimate data sets.

Learn more about our community »

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Am I qualified to contribute estimates?

Yes. Our algorithms aren’t concerned with why or how you derived your estimate. We take a philosophically agnostic view to the reasoning behind your estimates and promote diversity. Analysts are scored based on track record, and we algorithmically flag estimates that are very unlikely to be in good faith. But whether you are running a full earnings model or simply have a hunch that the company will report solid numbers, your expectations are valuable and valid and belong on Estimize.

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Why do analysts contribute their estimates?

There are a few reasons analysts are increasingly contributing to estimize.

  1. Build a track record: Analysts use Estimize to create a verifiable track record of their accuracy and foresight for the fundamental metrics of the companies they cover. This track record is something that can be leveraged during the interview process. Independent analysts publish their estimates and create their track record on Estimize in order to attract new clients, which they upsell with deeper qualitative analysis.

  2. Build a better data set: Analysts understand that a better financial expectations data set is beneficial to everyone and they want to built it with their peers. By contributing, they provide an incentive for other analysts to participate as a mark of a good citizen. And as more analysts contribute to the data set, it becomes more valuable to everyone.

  3. Remain anonymous: in the past, a comprehensive expecations data set was elusive due to worries about expectations being something that could reveal trading behavior: the sharing of estimate data is not a zero sum game. At Estimize, we understand this worry, and provide the necessary anonymity so that contributors can only benefit from their contribution to the community. You lose no edge by anonymously contributing to the data set.

  4. Leverage Estimize: Estimize is a smart platform, which has the capability to notify analysts when trends are emerging, alert contributors to their own biases, and enable them to compare their performance against their peers. These powerful tools can only be utilized by contributing your numbers.

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What accounting standard are estimates made in?

All estimates are made in the Non-GAAP accounting standard and exclude options expense. On occasion, revenue estimates may exclude certain figures (as is the case for Google regarding traffic acquisition costs).

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How much should I contribute?

In order to generate meaningful metrics, at least 10 estimates per quarter are suggested. Highly ranked analysts on average cover between 50-60 stocks within a sector, and may cover multiple sectors. For Economic Indicators, some analysts focus on one area, but many cover the full set on Estimize. There is a healthy range of contribution amongst analysts on the platform.

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Can I remain anonymous?

We provide the ability for analysts to remain anonymous while contributing to the data set under a unique identifier number. This preserves the ability for analysts to contribute without being compromised in any way, or losing an informational edge.

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Why was my estimate flagged?

If your estimate has been deemed manually or algorithmically unreliable it will be flagged visibly throughout the platform and will not be included in the Estimize consensus. When a new analyst contributes to Estimize, they are put through a manual review process which considers the depth of their biographical information and the reliability of their first 5 estimates.

Estimates may also be flagged if they have not been revised within the past 60 days and fall well outside of the current consensus.

All flagged estimates are manually reviewed before the close of the trading day. Our algorithms can occasionally be overly sensitive. After manual review, most of these estimates are unflagged and included in the consensus, so don’t be concerned if this just happened to you. All flagged estimates will still be scored and ranked normally. At the end of the day, about 2.5% of all estimates made on the platform are determined unreliable.

If you have any questions or concerns about this flagging process, feel free to contact us at help@estimize.com.

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Data

How is the Estimize Consensus calculated?

The Estimize Consensus is an intelligently weighted consensus consisting of all estimates excluding flagged estimates that takes into account estimate recency, analyst confidence, and more.

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What is the difference between the Estimize Consensus and Estimize Mean?

The Estimize Consensus is an intelligently weighted consensus that takes into account estimate recency, analyst confidence, and more. The Estimize Mean is a straight average of estimates on the platform. With the new, weighted Estimize Consensus, we believe we've built an even more accurate representation of true market expectations than before.

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How do I know the data is clean?

While we’re always working to improve the platform, we gave a lot of thought to this issue from the very beginning and believe our system works quite well. When a new analyst contributes to Estimize, they are put through a manual review process which considers the depth of their biographical information and the reliability of their first 5 estimates.

After establishing themselves as a contributing member of the Estimize community, all estimates will continue to be algorithmically reviewed for reliability. As an analyst continues to develop their track record, this algorithm provides more leeway for outlier estimates.

On top of our review processes, we continually monitor the community and data set for suspicious activity which may include the creation of multiple accounts, collusion, estimates submitted in a random fashion, bots, and other potentially harmful behaviors.

Regardless of the measures we take to protect against these issues, we’ve found that these behaviors are extremely uncommon.

We already have a number of 3rd-party financial sites syndicating our estimate data - in fact, you can see us on TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim® trading platform right now for the 2000+ stocks we cover.

If you have any questions or concerns about the reliability of our community or data set, or have found a way to game the system that we haven’t thought of, please feel free to contact us at help@estimize.com.

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Can I download Estimize's data?

You can download Estimize data using our streaming and RESTful APIs to financial institutions looking to incorporate Estimize data into their models. We also partner with several financial data platforms, including Bloomberg, to deliver Estimize data to their clients. Please visit the API request form for more information.

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Scoring and Confidence

What is Analyst Confidence?

Analyst confidence is a high-level gauge for analyst performance. Confidence is based on an analyst’s history and average error across prior company releases, adjusted for a number of factors including difficulty and sector. This results in a distribution of analyst accuracy that is very stable and predictive, and allows for comparison among analysts with relatively little history and those with a great deal of history.

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How are points and rankings computed?

Equities and Economic Indicators are scored using different methods and the Rankings are separately available:

For Equities

Each EPS and Revenue estimate that you make will be scored for accuracy on a scale of -25 to +25 points. If your estimate is more accurate than the Wall Street consensus, you will receive a positive number of points, and a negative number for a less accurate estimate.

The number of points received is determined by the distance of your estimate to the reported results of the company and the distribution of all other estimates for that earnings release. The system incentivizes aggressive estimation by awarding points on an exponential scale. While being a little more accurate than Wall Street may score you a few points, an aggressive estimate well outside the mean will have both a higher risk, and a far higher reward.

Rankings are determined by the total number of points accumulated over the course of any given quarter.

We are currently building a host of other statistical measures on which each analyst will be scored and rated.

For Economic Indicators

Scoring for EI is slightly different, and awarded points range between -20 and +40. Since we are not using an external (Wall Street) reference with which to score estimates, points are awarded based on accuracy percentile within the distribution of scored estimates. Estimates with accuracy within the top 75th percentile are awarded points in a range, with a high of 40 at the top end and 0 at the bottom end. The bottom 25th percentile is awarded negative points, bounded by 0 at the high end and -20 at the low end.

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Leagues

What are Estimize Leagues?

Think Fantasy Football, but for those who are passionate about finance. Participants will spend three months competing against each other and contributing earnings estimates on a select group of stocks. Points will be awarded according to the accuracy of each estimate.

Individuals can sign up for an existing league or choose to create their own and invite friends or colleagues to join. The league can be as large or small as a league owner chooses and can be open to the public or by invitation only. League owners can choose to award prizes for their leagues.

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How do I join a league?

Visit Leagues to see the full list of leagues and join the ones you’re interested in. Estimize alone has 10 different open leagues covering technology, consumer goods, travel and more. Sign up for an Estimize account to join a league.

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What is the difference between open and invite only leagues?

Open leagues allow anyone with an Estimize account interested in playing to join. For invite only leagues, individuals must be invited by the league owner to join. Leagues can also be private (not visible to anyone other than your league members). Contact us at leagues@estimize.com if you're interesting in learning more about private leagues.

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How do I win a league?

The player with the most points at the end of the season wins the league. You receive points when companies report and your estimates get scored. The closer you are to the actual number reported by the company, the higher your points.

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What can I win?

It depends on the league. Estimize and sponsored leagues offer a variety of prizes ranging from Netflix subscriptions to interviews in the media and networking opportunities with leaders in the financial industry. To find more specific details, look for the prize icon to find leagues that offer a prize.

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When will the winners be announced?

While the rankings within any league are visible throughout each quarter, league winners will be verified at the conclusion of the quarter and announced the first week of the following quarter.

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How do I invite friends to a league?

If you are the league owner, simply add the email addresses of anyone you want to invite and an email will automatically be sent to them. If you have joined an open league and want to invite others, simply let them know which league you’ve joined and send them the league link to sign up. Invite only leagues require an invitation from the league owner to play.

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Can I estimate on stocks that are not included in my league?

Yes, you can estimate on as many stocks as you want on the platform. Your contributions are what makes our data set valuable. However, you will only receive points for the estimates associated with the stocks featured in your league.

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How many estimates do I have to make?

Leagues feature a minimum of 20 stocks that you have to estimate on. In order to maximize the number of points you can receive, you must estimate on all of the stocks featured in your league.

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When do leagues start and end?

Leagues begin on the 1st day of the month for each of the 4 seasons (January, April, July, October). Scoring takes place throughout the season as estimates are announced and leagues end on the last day of the month concluding that season.

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When do I need to sign up by?

You should register for leagues by the second week of January, April, July, or October in order to ensure you have time to estimate on all of the stocks featured in the league.

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Which league should I join?

There are a variety of open leagues, each of which focus on a different group of stocks. From tech to travel to undercovered stocks, there is something available for everyone. Find the league that matches your interests and begin playing.

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Are there any compliance issues I should be aware of?

There are no compliance issues associated with participating in a league. Estimize is not a "social network." Estimize contributors provide earnings estimates for 1500+ stocks, after which Estimize aggregates the estimates to deliver a consensus that is more accurate than Wall Street 70% of the time. All estimates can be made anonymously, and our privacy policy is crystal clear about our commitment to your anonymity and observance of firm policies. We discuss participation in the platform with compliance departments on a regular basis and are happy to work with your firm. Reach out to us at help@estimize.com.

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What if I receive an invitation to an email address that isn’t associated with my Estimize account?

Please click on the URL provided in your invitation and sign in with your Estimize account details. Your account will automatically be associated with your invitation. You do not need to use the same email.

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What happens if I lost my invitation email?

Please email leagues@estimize.com to let us know the name of the league you were invited to join, and we will make sure that the invite is re-sent.

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Can I sponsor a league?

Yes, we do offer sponsorship opportunities related to Leagues. For more information, please email Josh at josh@estimize.com and he will get you set up.

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Privacy and Compliance

What is your privacy policy?

Our commitment to the privacy and anonymity of our contributing analysts and all registered members of the platform is deeply embedded in our DNA as a company. We go to great lengths to make sure that your personally identifying information will never be shared, sold, stolen, or otherwise mishandled. View our plain-English privacy policy for more details.

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Is compliance an issue?

Estimize is an analytics platform that pools data together in an anonymous way in order to offer collective intelligence. Our privacy policy is crystal clear about our commitment to your anonymity and observance of firm policies. Estimize is not a “social network”. We discuss participation in the platform with compliance departments on a regular basis and are happy to work with your firm. For more details, please contact Leigh Drogen at l@estimize.com.

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Other

I have other questions not answered here.

Feedback is an extremely important part of our product and business development process, so please don’t be shy about providing it (whether good, bad, or indifferent).

For general feedback please chat with us or email help@estimize.com. For partnership, employment or sales inquiries please reach out to the appropriate person via the contact page.

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