Big Data Is Still Only a Little Helpful

Google can do short-term economic forecasting. But so can traditional tools.

Useful tools, but how predictive?

Photographer: Justin Sullivan

"Big data" is one of the tech world's ubiquitous buzzwords. In the old days, people just called it data, but in Silicon Valley it's not a thing unless it's big. It's not yet obvious, however, that data collected by various internet services is any more useful than those mined in more traditional ways -- through surveys, for example.

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