Economists are frequently turning to Twitter, Google and other online data sources to analyze the markets.
In an economy less focused on manufacturing and more on information and connections, it only makes sense to use internet-created data in economic modelling. Just as car sales were tantamount to analyzing the Rust Belt economy of the past, Google and Twitter are means of generating value in the information economy.
What’s really exciting about these changes is the possibility of exploring disperse data.
In the past, industrial surveys focused mostly on managers and their plants. How many people did you hire? What is your inventory? If the individual was surveyed, it was only among a set list of questions. Then it would take a few weeks to compile this data among classical statistical assumptions (You need the right sample size…and what is your margin of error?)