(K. Brent Tomer),
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. By Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. Dey Street; 288 pages; $27.99. To be published in Britain by Bloomsbury in July; £20.
TO MANY people Big Data is less shiny than it was a year ago. After Hillary Clinton’s defeat at the hands of Donald Trump, her vaunted analytics team took much of the blame for failing to spot warnings in the midwestern states that cost her the presidency. But according to research by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former data scientist at Google, Mrs Clinton’s real mistake was not to rely too much on newfangled statistics, but rather too little.
Mrs Clinton used the finest number-crunchers. But their calculations still relied largely on traditional sources, such as voter files and polls. In contrast, Mr Stephens-Davidowitz turned to a novel form of data: Google searches. In particular, he counted the frequency of queries for the word…Continue reading