Americans are obsessed with simple measures which purport to represent complex phenomena. To wit:
- Credit Score
- SAT/ACT Scores
- Zip Code
- AGI (Adjusted Gross Income)
We don't have time for details. We aren't interested in stories, just summaries and aggregates.
The convenience of a number trumps the work required to understand what it really represents and its potential irrelevance to an individual case. The statistic belies the assumptions, trade-offs, biases and prejudices.
Big data gives us the ability to collect more information, but humans can't process it anyway. Get ready for more approximations.