Some time ago, I wrote this:
“The low barrier of entry to accessing and interpreting economic data has created unrealistic expectations of its accuracy and relevance.”
I don’t know if that was me writing down my own thoughts or someone else’s, but I agree.
Incidentally, regarding the dust-up caused by the WSJ’s style guide change allowing data to be used as a singular noun, I’d like to note that while I’m okay with the WSJ’s change, I find their explanation to be lacking a simple point: it’s not simply that usage has evolved away from the plural, it’s that data has evolved from being a plural to being a mass noun. Given the fundamental changes brought about by the volume of data (Did you see what I did there? Volume? Mass noun.) we now produce, I’d argue that this is a case where the change in grammar perfectly mirrors the change in the concept it describes.