The new thing in Google Flu Trends is traditional data
The New York Times - 10/31/2014
The lesson seems to be that in fields like public health and economics, where there are long-standing information-gathering systems, the smart move is to marry the new data with the old. The new breed of data from the web, cellphones and sensors can be a powerful, knowledge-enhancing asset. But it is a signal, not thesignal.
David Lazer, a professor of political science and computer science at Northeastern University, and the lead author on the Science article, said it was “great” that Google was overhauling its flu-tracking engine to blend in the C.D.C. data. But Mr. Lazer said he and other researchers would like to examine how Google’s service works in detail including seeing at least a subset of the flu-related search terms it monitors — something Google has not yet disclosed.