"Should we believe more in Big Data or in magic?"
From a Reuters column*:
Data analysis is very similar to performing magic. With great skill you can pull things together and create the perception of surprising relationships.
Lack of talent is not just an impediment; it’s a potential source of danger.
Often what’s most interesting isn’t the statistical relationship itself, but the data that was required to find it.
As is often the case, there are dangers as well as opportunities. We must be “both skeptical and constructive” as Andrew Gelman says.