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Point72 Used Big Data to Short Weight Watchers, Dave & Buster's

  • Steve Cohen’s fund no longer holds the short bets, person says
  • Hedge fund has trained its traditional managers to use data
Customers play skee ball at a Dave & Buster's.

Customers play skee ball at a Dave & Buster's.

Photographer: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg

Big data gave Point72 Asset Management a fresh view into Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. -- and a reason to short the chain.

Combing through geo-location data linked to anonymous credit card information, the hedge fund discovered that when customers went to entertainment venue Topgolf for the first time, their spending at a nearby Dave & Buster’s went down immediately, Matthew Granade, who oversees Point72’s big data efforts, said at the CNBC Delivering Alpha conference Thursday.