If you want to highlight one dataset that is both super important AND lots of people think is flawed, then GDP is probably the right starting point. Critics say it’s a pretty poor way to measure a country’s well-being, for instance.
However it still matters, especially as the world’s economies try to recover from the Covid-battering they have gone through.
In fact, The OECD has been using Google Trends data combined with machine learning to monitor GDP on a weekly basis – as opposed to the quarterly releases we are used to. You can see more about this on The Economist today.