One of the great things about being the official source of information is that, well, you are official.
Every nation has departments dedicated to collecting data, analyzing data (some would argue manipulate) and publishing results. These results, be it the unemployment rate or rate of inflation, becomes the official world view.
A company in San Francisco, Premise, is built upon the, um, premise that all of this economic information is available and one should not have to wait for bureaucracies to issue reports.
…while the Bureau of Labor and Statistics spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year gathering data, its Consumer Price Index only tracks tens of thousands of monthly prices from physical businesses. Premise collects 240,000 real-time prices from across physical stores and the web.
In short, the economic data from Premise will become an alternate to official sources. While alternate sources have always existed, it is the scope and speed of the Premise offering. If organizations begin to rely on alternate sources the official version of events will no longer hold sway.
The shift to authoritative sources away from government is yet another example of the democratization of information and the on-going shift.