I completely agree with the above article. Quant finance is dominated by high frequency trading; actually, in most people’s minds HFT is quant/computation finance. Everyone’s using the same price and volume market data, trying to squeeze out profits by trading at the lowest latency possible. HFT is being commoditized. So you look at other places in the value chain where the performance isn’t good enough yet: one example is, as the article calls it, using exogenous instead of endogenous market data. This is the kind of data that Bloomberg and Reuters don’t provide, the kind of data that no one uses… yet. The first thing that comes to mind is http://www.thestocksonar.com/, which semantically analyzes news articles for positive/negative sentiment on stocks using machine learning/AI techniques.
Despite all the uses of algorithms and computers today, the human brain is still our most valuable asset. We, not computers, decide how to differentiate ourselves from our competitors—what new strategies to research and trade, what new kinds of data to use. The “human aspect” is still paramount in quant finance.