Living in the big data era, we are dealing with humungous amounts of data every day. This involves data generated from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or it could be transactions done in the banking sector or even information stored in the healthcare domain. This had led to big data becoming a critical and valuable asset in the global economy.
Though big data has been contributing globally in a larger magnitude, a lot of questions have been raised about the user privacy and security of big data. Data breaches have become common in the recent years and this has been demonstrated through one example of Facebook , which conducted a large-scale experiment without the knowledge of its users. Therefore big businesses have been very cautious about adopting big data due to the security and privacy threats.
But given the vital role the big data plays in the business front , it is not really possible to go ahead without getting insights from big data.
So what could the solution be for companies seeking to use big data in a secure manner?
Blockchain offers an ideal solution for security and privacy needs concerning big data.
It is a distributed database system that behaves like an open ledger to store and manage all the transactions. Every record stored in the database is called a block and these contain information like the transaction stamp and link to the previous block. This feature makes it totally secured as it doesn’t allow anyone to alter information pertaining to the records. It is also to be noted that the same transaction is stored in multiple distributed database systems making it very secure and safe. Hence the blockchain cannot be reproduced or altered further making information to remain in the same state as long as the network exists.
Image source: Noah data
Blockchain and its association with big data
Blockchain is a blessing for companies using big data as it guarantees data quality and prevents leaking and hacking of the data.
According to VentureBeat,
“If there is a ‘sweet spot’ for blockchain, it will likely be the ability to turn insights and questions into assets. Blockchains will give you greater confidence in the integrity of the data you see. Immutable entries, consensus-driven time-stamping, audit trails, and certainty about the origin of data (e.g., a sensor or a kiosk) are all areas where you will see improvement as blockchain technology becomes more mainstream.”
Bockchain’s integrity in data transactions is throwing up several opportunities for many organizations. It has improved the product lifecycle particularly when sensors are added to the Internet of Things IoT) to gather data.
For example, Walmart has implemented blockchain and sensors to boost food security by improving the product pathway from the source of origin to the time when it is dispatched to its customer. Hence this has provided Walmart’s customers with valuable information about the source of the origin of their food. The company has been generating 40 petabytes of data each day thereby increasing its chances to use this technology for data that is credible, can be traced and not be tampered.
Another outstanding contribution of blockchain technology is leveraging its potential in the financial domain. Several top financial organizations have started considering this technology seriously.
Oliver Bussmann, CIO of UBS says that blockchain technology could “pare transaction processing time from days to minutes.”
Blockchain in the financial business is a powerful ingredient as these are voluminous data pools containing the entire history of each financial transaction. The ledgers are available but can’t exactly be analyzed making data immutable.
Blockchain technology presents immense growth for the future
Blockchain technology implementation in big data analytics shows immense scope with top companies harnessing the technology. A group of 61 banks in Japan have associated with a startup named Ripple to go ahead with blockchain–enabled money transfers between bank accounts. This would, in turn, result in real-time money transfers at a much-reduced cost in contrast with the default costly real-time transfers which faced security risks.
Double spending, a form of failure in the real-time transfer transaction cycle wherein the same security token gets used two times is significantly reduced with blockchains. Using big data analytics, patterns of consumer spending can be detected in a quick way thereby cutting costs with real-time transactions.
Not just banking, blockchain technologies due to its intelligent feature in curbing security has been welcomed in other industries too. Organizations across retail, public administration and healthcare are stepping forward to implement this new technology to avoid data leaking and hacking. Land sectors are also accessing it for smart contracts. Through this defined rules and regulations are executed automatically once accomplished. This helps processes to be completed quickly and swiftly too.
Blockchain in healthcare ensures that multiple signatures are taken at each level when data is accessed. This primarily enables a repetition of the 2015 attack which had led to the stealing of more than 100 million patient records. Having a medical database on the blockchain network would form a reliable and easily accessible information pool across a single geography or worldwide. This is vital in decreasing the errors in the medical industry that usually occur due to bad decisions. Through a private and exclusive blockchain, a patient’s data can be secured without any risks.
Decoding transactional data
The information in the blockchain has been forecasted to have a value of trillions of dollars. This is the data that is seen through the banking, remittance, microlevel payments and other financial service pipeline. Experts also predict that the blockchain ledger could even be worth up to 20% of the entire market of big data by the year 2030. This would, in turn, generate around $100 billion in revenue annually.
Blockchain and passive programs
The blockchain revolution has also increased the force behind passive programs that work in the background and make use of unused power, memory, and other resources. Golem is an example which is a supercomputer which can be accessed by anyone. It has been created with the collective capacities of users machines which include PCs and complete data centers.
The path is another program that enables big data and blockchain users to lease extra bandwidth. Users of path typically install ‘Path mining nodes’ on the computers which work passively in the background. These earn tokens for offering such kind of working insights back to the Path and to the stakeholders to whom they serve.
Big data on the blockchain translates to quality information
With big data and blockchain in the foray presenting a wide room for improvement, it is essential to harness its potential to its best. Though companies are investing time in data management, only a small percentage of data in organizations are analyzed. Around 80% of data is not protected by posing only risks. Instead, data should be wisely analyzed and used to improve businesses in the government and IT sectors. While blockchain ensures the availability of a large chunk of big data, most organizations should leverage this capability and welcome the technology onboard.