The big target here isn’t advertising, though. It’s science. The scientific method is built around testable hypotheses. These models, for the most part, are systems visualized in the minds of scientists. The models are then tested, and experiments confirm or falsify theoretical models of how the world works. This is the way science has worked for hundreds of years.
Scientists are trained to recognize that correlation is not causation, that no conclusions should be drawn simply on the basis of correlation between X and Y (it could just be a coincidence). Instead, you must understand the underlying mechanisms that connect the two. Once you have a model, you can connect the data sets with confidence. Data without a model is just noise.
More data is not equal to better results. More data only substantiates the working model. We may have a deluge of data about cancer but are we really close to cracking it? Then what explains the massive investments at the cost of other diseases?
via The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete | WIRED