Illuminating Enterprise Dark Data with the Blockchain
Sheer volumes of data in our world has been expanding exponentially. Analyzing large, complex sets of data has become a necessity in understanding the wealth of information derived from data. Data is a key strategic asset that has the potential to change the way we operate as a population from curing diseases to saving lives. In 2011, McKinsey & Company estimated that if we use big data creatively to drive efficiency and quality, we could add more than $300 billion in value each year for just healthcare alone. Now that enterprises are keeping a larger amount of unstructured data, they are looking for new ways to leverage it, paving the way for a paradigm shift in advanced levels of analytics. Here are a few ways to uncover the hidden realities of data and shift into transparency as we develop Blockchain technology into the future.
Blockchain technology combines decentralized tasks, multiple communication protocols and smart-contract based rewards. Distributed Ledger Technology creates a world-wide computing network that eliminates the need for centralized third-parties like banks. In a blockchain, transactions are recorded on a ledger, facilitating transparency. The ledger is tracked by all parties which stops people from spoofing it or creating false data.
Businesses need to incorporate Blockchain in their strategy to assist with enhancing security and data quality. A coupling occurs with encryption through cryptography and private keys that are assigned to the transactions. This creates a personal digital signature which makes altering records very difficult. Machines have unique identities and hence a virtual presence. Blockchain can also be compared to traditional big-data distributed databases like MongoDB.
Back in the late 90’s, the “Information Age” began moving at the speed of light as the internet became a reality. Broadband communication was traded as a commodity by Enron until the company’s collapse in 2001.With a recent focus on Big Data and the large volumes of information being gathered by companies, Dark Data has become an abundant reality. According to Gartner, Dark Data is information that has been collected but has not served any purpose, for example, analytics, business relationships and monetization. According to IBM, 60 percent of that data loses its true value within milliseconds. Topics like internet security, information privacy and master data management became a central discussion. Moving forward to present day, these topics are still fresh as new technologies, like Blockchain, become even more available.
In order to emerge from Dark Data, it is important to understand what data you care about as a company. What really drives your customers to buy your product or use your services? How do you effectively increase revenue while managing your expenses? Is it reasonably possible to capture metrics around any of these questions? What are the solutions available to create transparency and to illuminate Dark Data? This is where the value of Blockchain is truly defined. The important thing is to determine what metrics work best for the business and find data to support it. Going forward, this enables a person to proactively focus on collecting data and potentially eliminating data that has no real value which in turn creates efficiency in the Blockchain.
Blockchain provides rewards which drastically changes current database setups, no incentives for servers to want to gouge users to increase their profits, and no questions about what users need to pay in fees to put data into the Blockchain. Blockchain places the concept where growing the power and capacity of the protocol is the only path to greater rewards.
Despite many challenges, Blockchain has enabled some incredible capabilities over the years. One of the most inherent and prolific examples is the ability to efficiently capture vast amounts of global data from various sources that harvest real time operational data on an immutable and transparent ledger. The sheer volume of information that gets generated in one day is almost hard to comprehend. According to IBM, the world generates about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. To put that in perspective, a modern DVD stores roughly 5 gigabytes of data, which means a person would need to buy almost 500 million DVD’s to store a day’s worth of global data.
As much of an anti-globalization movement happening, it makes sense for the economy to become global, singular and decentralized. Blockchain is the new way all data will be moved, and crypto will become the decentralization of the stock market. Also, it's the democratization of it to an extent, as it will be accessible to anyone with any money and access to the internet. It is going to happen, it's just uncertain how long it takes and which projects will survive. We aren't necessarily dealing with new usable currencies here but a new store of value for projects. It begins with illuminating the vast amounts of data that are lost in the shadows of analytics every day.