CSI vs Pinnacle data ?

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BARLI
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CSI vs Pinnacle data ?

Post by BARLI » Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:19 am

pros and cons of both?

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Post by Roscoe » Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:18 am

Hi BARLI,

Pinnacle is straightforward to use, covers most markets, is very well priced and is very stable. Good support too.

CSI has a zillion markets and an interface that would confuse your average genius plus it is somewhat more expensive. Can be less than ideal in the support stakes I hear.

I have used Pinnacle for quite a few years and I am very happy with them.

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Post by BARLI » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:38 am

I started noticing some "bugs" in CSI data and thinking about buying Pinnacle's now

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Post by Nussgipfel » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:57 am

I have been using Pinnacle for a long time and I am very happy with the data and also their support. I started using CSI because of TBB only recently again. (I had their service before once). Think CSI is OK but not as good as they could be or as they advertise. Just one guy's opinion of course. I use only stock and index data though.

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Post by Chuck B » Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:50 pm

I used Pinnacle for many years but then stopped using it back in 1998 in favor of CSI. I am very glad I switched since I had to have a custom rollover schedule for continuous contracts. I don't know what has happened with Pinnacle since that time, but back then you could not alter the continuous contract specifications very much.

For example, in the STIRs (Short Term Interest Rate markets) such as the Eurodollar, Euribor, and Short Sterling, I needed to be able to create a continuous contract that had a roll date 6 to 9 months prior to expiration. There is a profound difference in Pinnacle's roll date versus mine for these markets.

That is just one example, but CSI has many more options for creating the data series, and I have found their data to be very clean over the past 8+ years of use. There have only been a couple of times where I had to contact them wrt to data issues. Additionally, CSI carries all the world's futures markets where Pinnacle only had a subset (at the time I left them as a customer, I had helped Ed (Pinnacle owner) select which foreign markets to follow, but he was limited to only a few, and he was unable to allow the options I mentioned above in his rollover algorithm due to its architecture).

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Post by AFJ Garner » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:56 am

I do not think the competition should be between Pinnacle and CSI.

I use CSI and am happy with it: many complain about the software but I have found it both useful and educative to experiment with the many different settings. To change the roll algorithms, to look at rolling on set dates, on OI, on OI and Vol, on first trigger, second. And so on. For me, CSI has formed a most useful cornerstone of my on-going trading education.

Pinnacle data is of no use to me - I trade many foreign markets not covered by Pinnacle. And in any event, I find it useful to be able to choose my roll dates and contract months.

A question of greater interest to me is to find a different alternative to CSI. Not because I am dissatisfied with the service but simply because I would like a back-up, an alternative.

I know we all have to rely on outside providers of goods and services ( I do not have any cows I can milk for my daily calcium intake, nor can I generate my own electricity or mend my own car).

However, the more self sufficient I am, the more comfortable I feel. And it does not feel that comfortable to have to rely on a single company for my price data.

Ideally, as others on this forum have suggested, it would be a comfort to own one's own software capable of collecting prices and producing the neccessary concatenated contracts.

In the absence of designing or being able to buy such software, what are the other alternatives to CSI and Pinnacle for EOD Data?

Having used Trading Blox for quite a while now, I can not imagine a world without it. Particularly the superb parameter stepping facilities. But it is not necessary for my trading: I could trade using a simple graphics package such as Meta Stock. I could use Excel if I had to.

But without reliable EOD data updated on a daily basis, without the ability to swiftly construct concatenated gap adjusted contracts, I could not trade at all.

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Cost of CSI Data?

Post by LeapFrog » Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:36 pm

Been looking into getting a CSI subscription and already are running into confusion just understanding their price structure. Emailing back and forth with their sales person is only making things worse.

First of all, why is it that they only "allow" customers to buy data from 1982 onwards? (25 years of data max per customer.) I've been accessing TradeStation EOD data for years that goes back to the 1960s in some cases - for free (if you also trade through them).

Pinnacle give you all the data they've got - some of it going back to the late 1960s.

Lastly, they are quoting me prices off the charts. A one year sign-up and subscription to Pinnacle is around $200 - total. CSI are quoting me $1,360 ($603 to sign up plus $63 per month for updates, but which includes the "world"). Is it really worth 6 to 7 times the cost of Pinnacle?

I must be missing something here.

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Post by sluggo » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:59 pm

Maybe you could start with Pinnacle and see how you like it. Perhaps it will meet all of your needs just fine, at 1/6th or 1/7th the price.

Later, if you discover you don't like Pinnacle, you will know exactly what you are looking for in a replacement. You can make very specific inquiries about "Will CSI do X" or "Does Bloomberg include Y". You will also be in a better position to evaluate just how important or unimportant these things are, and just how much money they are worth, to you.

Me? I use CSI. Pinnacle doesn't meet my needs. It is missing far too many non-USA futures markets, and (as Chuck B. mentioned above) its rollover algorithms are far too inflexible, for me.

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Post by Tim Arnold » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:57 am

I would check the markets included. The CSI World Futures collection is quite large (900+ markets) compared to other providers.

The flexibility in back adjusting algorithms is quite nice. The ability to select months to trade and select different roll over triggers is key.

Including the Delivery Month with the data enables proper accounting for contract rolls, as well as critical for real trading. It's important to know what month your data is in since orders are relative to that month.

Including the Unadjusted Close is quite nice for some customers systems.

Accuracy and availability of data: I won't get into which is more accurate or available, but perhaps a quick check of which service is more heavily used for actual trading vs. just back testing might give you some answers. If one is more accurate and available, then that could be worth alot.

At $540 per year for daily updates, the World Futures subscription is a good value. North American Futures are just $313 per year. Not sure why you are paying $603 to sign up -- it should only be $135 license fee plus maybe $20 for extra data.

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Post by LeapFrog » Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:26 am

My Pinnacle Data subscription is due for renewal and so I checked CSI's offering to compare once again.

CSI - cost for one year (including license fee) = $1,035*
Pinnacle - cost for one year (including license fee) = $200

* From CSI's web site: license fee = 135, one year of 69 markets going back 10 years = 540, LME data = 60, additional 15 years of data @ $20/year = 300...total = $1,035.00 (I'm sure some of their 69 or 900 markets don't have 25 years of data, but I could not determine which markets do or don't from their web site.)

Still can't see the value in a CSI subscription...I'll check again next year.

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Post by sluggo » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:15 am

For those who trade Asian futures (SGX, TSE, SFE, HKFE, etc), another quesion to ask is: when can I download EOD prices for Asian markets? Some vendors reply, with a straight face, 7PM Eastern, same as for USA markets. You get Tuesday's EOD prices after Wednesday's open!

A relatively low priced alternative, seldom mentioned, is Reuters Data Link: http://www.equis.com/products/endofday/ ... ?exchanges .

It may be good to subscribe to two different data vendors, just to handle those hopefully-rare days when data is unavailable or late.

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Post by AFJ Garner » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:23 am

I wonder whether Sluggo has written his own software to produce back adjusted contracts from the raw data?

I seem to racall the Reuters data does have a back adjusted contract option but that a) the data series so produced is not gap adjusted b) you can not choose your own roll over provisions and c) you can not choose which contract months to include.

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Post by Roger Rines » Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:57 pm

I use CSI as my end-of-day data vendor and like the quality of their data. I also like that they provide the actual volume and open interest for each market. They also allow their UA software to provide total volume and open interest, but I've not found that useful for my methods.

A friend who is also a member of this forum uses Pinnacle and likes them. Pinnacle didn't provide the actual volume and open interest for the forward contracts, but he told me he didn't care because he didn't need that information.

When I make roll-forward decisions for some markets I find it useful to see the actual volume and open interest in the forward contracts so I can see where the large hands are moving the trading. If CSI didn't provide the actual numbers, this analysis would not be possible without some other data source.

I also like to have the Back-Adjust signal contracts use the actual volume and open interest of the market I think is the front month, and that might not always be possible when Pinnacle's timing of what it the current month varies from what I want for the front month.

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Post by Roscoe » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:02 pm

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, what I would really really really like is some software that would allow me to take raw contract data from whatever source and do my own formatting and rollovers. By that means I could keep Pinnacle as my primary data source and add other markets from, say, Reuters or possibly a European data vendor as both backup as AFJ suggests and to add extra markets. Can anyone suggest such a product or possibly provide some code that could be used? I have some excellent C++ data formatting code courtesy of a friend but I still lack the rollover component and I would really like to complete this feature/application in the near future. TIA!

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Post by LeapFrog » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:52 am

Roscoe wrote:... what I would really really really like is some software that would allow me to take raw contract data from whatever source and do my own formatting and rollovers.
Bravo! Me too! I'll bet the smart money already do this. We have the raw data (Pinnacle provides it in their "deep" history). What we need is the software as Roscoe requests (isn't this what CSI's software does, but only with their data?).

What I would really really really like to be able to do, is parse intraday historical data based on volume to create my daily "bars". I think this is going to be more critical with the rise of electronic (23/5) markets replacing the pits in general. Most everyone has designed their systems on historical pit data, but that ain't what we're dealing with going forward.

I'd like to see a smart algorithm that parses intraday data into OHLC, based on capturing x standard deviations of that intraday data (chopping off, hopefully, the thinly traded outlier trades that can skew an electronic daily bar.)

FWIW, I've suggested this to Ed Pavia at Pinnacle Data to try to encourage them to think about it.

Just to be clear, there are two issues here: 1) the rollover and back-adjustment algorithm (Roscos' request), and 2) the parsing of intraday data to create daily bars.
Last edited by LeapFrog on Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Roger Rines » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:10 am

Hello Ross,
I have some core process code (not API) in Power BASIC that looks a lot like TB BASIC that I can share. Converting the code to C++ wouldn't be much of an issue and I could help if necessary. Code available is what makes the Continuous Contract Building program sent last year function.

Hello Leapfrog,
I don't see how you could achieve your goal with Pinnacle data until they put the actual volume and open interest into the forward contracts. Do you know if they've changed from using the current contract's volume and open interest in the forward contracts?

As for weeding out the thin contracts, I find that important and not difficult. If you decide to go down this road and want some coaching, PM me and I'll do what I can to keep you pointed in the right direction.

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Post by LeapFrog » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:22 am

Roger Rines wrote:Hello Leapfrog,
I don't see how you could achieve your goal with Pinnacle data until they put the actual volume and open interest into the forward contracts. Do you know if they've changed from using the current contract's volume and open interest in the forward contracts?
I checked, and you are right, they simply copy the nearest month out into the future. So that looks like a no go.

I will PM you on your generous offer.

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Post by sluggo » Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:29 pm

Yep, if you decide to have multiple data vendors either for redundancy/backup, or to obtain additional tradeables, it essentially forces you to write backadjusting / splicing code yourself. This is expensive and time consuming; on the other hand, it provides a nice "edge" that other traders don't have, because it's not an off-the-shelf product you can simply buy with mere money. When preparing marketing material you could dress it up and allude to it as one of your proprietary "sources of alpha," thereby basking in the glow of a hot buzz-phrase. I'm generally in favor of getting some kind of an advantage by building things yourself, as for example (here).

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Post by AFJ Garner » Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:26 am

it provides a nice "edge" that other traders don't have
I think that it is more than a "nice edge" for anybody, whether a sole trader or a CTA running money for others.

It is unfortunate to rely on one company and their software product for what is the most basic component of your business: raw price data and the ability to manipulate that data to generate your indicators and your trading signals

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Post by Roscoe » Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:58 am

sluggo wrote:When preparing marketing material you could dress it up and allude to it as one of your proprietary "sources of alpha," thereby basking in the glow of a hot buzz-phrase.

Heh heh, sounds great, pity I have nothing to market :D
sluggo wrote:I'm generally in favor of getting some kind of an advantage by building things yourself, as for example (here).
Unfortunately the link returns: "The topic or post you requested does not exist". Any way I could get to view your building project? TIA

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