“Love is in the air”, it is the month of the cupid, proposals, love, and commitments. No, this blog is not about love advice and certainly, it is not clickbait. But, since it is the month of Valentine’s day, let’s try to do the match-making of the most buzz technologies i.e. Big Data and Blockchain.
First, let’s study the profiles of the probable perfect pair:
“Worldwide Big Data market revenues for software and services are projected to increase by $103B in 2027.”
According to Gartner,
“Big Data is high-volume, high velocity, and possesses variety of information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.”
This means it possesses large complex data sets that have to be processed and analyzed to fetch the useful information that benefits the business.
Certain Basic Tenets Of Big Data
- Refers to the massive amount of data that grows exponentially with time
- It cannot be processed with conventional data processing techniques
- Includes data mining, data storage, data analysis, data sharing, and data visualization
“Worldwide, global Blockchain market size is projected to increase by $23.3 billion in 2023.”
According to Gartner,
A blockchain is an expanding list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network. Each record contains a timestamp and reference links to previous transactions. With this information, anyone with the access rights can trackback transactions, history belonging to any participants.
In simple terms, Blockchain is a database that is shared across a network of computers. Once the record is added, it is very difficult to change and to make sure that all the copies of the database are same; the network maintains a constant check.
Certain Basic Tenets Of Blockchain
- No central gatekeeper is required to verify the transactions and authenticate the source — this is done independently by multiple nodes
- More than one contributor can modify the database at the same time, from any location.
- If a node is broken/compromised; the rest of the network remains unaffected
- Each contributor audits the ledger and promotes trust amongst other contributors
So, the agenda here is to understand that if Big Data and Blockchain technology right swiped each other, can they become a perfect match? Let us find out.
Blockchain + Big Data: Is This A Match Made In Heaven?
By 2030, the data contained in the blockchain ledger might be worth up to 20% of the global Big Data market and generate up to $100 billion in annual income.
Both Big Data and Blockchain are highly popular; they are appealing to many and they have been the best bet for many in the industry. They individually are progressing in leaps and bounds.
But for any relationship to work out, it must be formed on three important pillars namely transparency, security, and companionship. So, the task is to know that if these two are made to be a perfect match, whether they have the ability to establish a relationship on these pillars or not?
The problem with Big Data is that due to the privacy concerns, currently all the data lakes and pools are either hidden or are exposed to limited data with the fear of being breached. But, for data to be turned into valuable information, it is essential that data flow is genuine and tamper proof.
This is where Blockchain comes in, the very basic purpose of Blockchain is to provide secure and tamper-proof data ledger. Blockchain contains the chain of digital ‘blocks’ which records the transaction. Each block is connected to all the blocks before and after it which makes it difficult to tamper the single record. In case of theft, the hacker would need to change the record of that block as well as those linked to it to avoid detection.
So, if the Blockchain becomes the valentine of Big Data, the tech companies can make the lake open to more contemporaries without the fear of data leak.
Another problem with large data pools and lakes is the amount of “dark data” (The information which is not being used). There are certain amounts of data that the data scientists cannot access sometimes due to incomplete or outdated data and sometimes because the data is not in the readable format.
But, with the help of the distributed ledger formed by the Blockchain technology, the data scientists can analyze petabytes of raw unstructured data and provide all the required information, reducing the amount of dark data. Moreover, Blockchain will filter the data and use only the authentic data that will be approved by all the nodes which make the analytics better and the Big Data more efficient.
Current infrastructure for storing data is inefficient. It relies on third-parties like cloud storage which results in issues like scaling, duplicate data, hindered performance due to a large amount of data, privacy risks, high price etc.
Blockchain Technology makes storing efficient. With the help of distributed networks, files are broken and spread across multiple nodes. Files are encrypted which disable other nodes to participate in the network. File loss and data redundancy are prevented and extra copies are only stored if in case there is an error in transmitting data. Blockchain storage costs can reduce the price of cloud computing between 50% -100%.
Convergence Of Blockchain And Big Data: Why Do We Care?
- The process of detecting real-time fraud becomes easy with Big Data and Blockchain. With Blockchain, one cannot modify the record of the data; hence Big Data can use its analytical skills to find out the fraud activities.
- With the match of Big Data and Blockchain, the social data of the public can be easily transferred using the Blockchain without affecting the strict “Privacy Policies”.
- Corrupted data has no room to enter the chain as it will not match with the other data on machines. Blockchain and Big Data enable the collection and classification of higher quality and accurate data.
- With the adoption of Blockchain and Big Data, businesses can gain trust as their personal data is secured and private.
- Blockchain has the potential to monetize the data where companies can share, sell and offer their data and insights directly with each other.
- Data analysts prefer to mine social data for insights of key cryptographic currency trends. This helps the organization to uncover the powerful demographic information.
- Blockchain and Big Data help in streamlining the access to the data. Users across various departments can have the data required for analysis purpose. This smoothens up the workflow and time cycle of data access and analysis.
- It increases accuracy and delivers rich and reliable insights for businesses.
- Data intelligence service along with the blockchain are emerging and helping financial institutions, governments and other organizations to uncover the hidden pattern of data.
Industries That Have Tried And Tested Their Compatibilities
- Omnilytics: Omnilytics is a leading fashion and beauty market intelligence platform that provides actionable insights for sales, marketing and merchandizing. The company aims to combine Blockchain with Big Data analytics to power their smart contracts, data exchange and other protocols and APIs. Using Blockchain with Big Data offers a new level of trust, honesty and transparency as data partners can track the performance of their data.
- Provenance: Provenance is a platform that helps brands and retailers to build customer trust through transparency. Using Big Data and Blockchain Technology, the platform gathers and shares key product information in a way that’s secure, trustworthy and accessible.
Through this platform, the customer can get verified information about what the product is made of, where it came etc. and retailers’ benefit form product tracking and empowering customers with new information.
- Storj: The Storj is a platform for decentralized cloud object storage, i.e affordable, secured, easy to use and private. It uses client-side encryption so that data owners can trust that and only have access to their files. If the power goes down or data center is corrupted, the algorithm ensures that data is distributed widely enough to maintain high availability.
A Way Forward
The Blockchain and Big Data serve all the qualities that are needed for an ideal combination. The synergy between Big Data and Blockchain can really make operations fast, safe, flexible and transparent. Together with Blockchain, Big Data operations performed on the generated data can help to improve businesses and drive-in lot of opportunities. However, there is much more to explore and this is just the tip of iceberg!