Home → Magazine Archive → January 2016 (Vol. 59, No. 1) → Unbalanced Data Leads to Obsolete Economic Advice → Abstract

Unbalanced Data Leads to Obsolete Economic Advice

By Gio Wiederhold

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 59 No. 1, Pages 45-46

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The high technology industry is recognized as being a major driver of the current economy. I am concerned about how poorly its role is understood in governmental decision making. Computer scientists do express concerns about disturbing trends.9 An early study sponsored by ACM was based on opinions, rather than data.1 Similar discussions address other high-technology engineering disciplines.2 Analyses of relevant data should be the basis for decision making. Having "big data" raises high expectations.7 But there are two related lacunae:

  • Most analysts ignore the mechanisms that drive high technology and the intellectual origin of contents in the products being marketed.
  • The data needed to measure the business interactions involving intellectual products within and among high technology enterprises is unavailable to economists.

In this Viewpoint, I expand on these two factors, which lead to misleading advice and imbalanced decision making.


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