(Bloomberg) -- Acadian Asset Management, the Boston-based quantitative firm that manages $77 billion, struck a deal with Microsoft to use its Bing Predicts big data technology to inform its investment decisions.

Acadian said it's the first investment firm to use Bing Predicts, a machine-learning project that mines internet search and social-media data for factors to try to forecast events like a corporation's quarterly results. The partnership also aims to help Microsoft, which currently produces a monthly estimate of U.S. retail sales, make more economic predictions.

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