With remote employees, IoT, connected networks and devices, and employees’ social platforms, in addition to customer and business data, modern enterprises generate massive volumes of data every single day.
This data, although often unstructured, is precious. Since all the print space was dedicated to big data and data analytics at the turn of the millennium, these sciences have proven revolutionary, helping organizations plan their strategies, make fiscally sound decisions and win in a competitive landscape.
And now, it’s time for data to take the next giant leap.
Blockchain and data – the most powerful tools in your arsenal
When integrated with blockchain for business, the power and potential of Big Data increase multi-fold, creating significant breakthroughs that were not possible earlier. Let’s see how.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger or a decentralized database that efficiently records economic transactions between different parties in an easy-to-verify, safe and permanent way. Using cryptography, the technology ensures that nobody can counterfeit or change stored records. On the one hand, big data facilitates the provision of data for business decisions; blockchain provides its effective validation and storage. As per a report, the global market size for big data is likely to reach approximately USD 549.73 billion by 2028, whereas the global blockchain market is estimated to reach USD 163.83 billion by 2029. Growing alongside each other, the combination of blockchain and data will enable enterprises to leverage their voluminous data sets safely and securely.
Why blockchain and data are good for your business
There are numerous reasons why businesses are increasingly pursuing this lucrative alliance of blockchain and data.
Firstly, they can access high-quality, verified, and reliable data. This is because the bulk of data generated is extensively churned and validated on the blockchain platform. As a result, businesses gain greater confidence in the integrity of their data. Furthermore, access to quality data translates to sharper insights, facilitating intelligent decision-making.
The encryption of the blockchain’s network makes the data completely safe, secure, and fraud-proof, taking another data-related concern off the businesses’ shoulders. Using blockchain and big data in combination can give relevant business users authorization and access to data. The blockchain network can easily accommodate many people within an organization, and no one gains access to change data, information, or records. This increased data accessibility is highly effective for businesses, as numerous employees, leaders, and partners can work with insights in a secure environment.
Studies find that the intersection of big data analytics and blockchain deliver enhanced data security and privacy, improve data integrity, prevent frauds, deliver real-time analytics, and enhance data access and sharing workstreams.
In fact, global organizations are converging data and blockchain to build water-tight hybrid workplaces, tracking device integrity and building truly powerful and trusted supply chains.
Building advanced blockchain-based ledgers for trust and data integrity
One of the strongest outcomes of bringing your databases and blockchain capabilities together comes in the form of ledgers.
Ledger provides tamper-evidence capabilities, cryptographically attest to third parties that your data has not been tampered with & aids in the protection of data from any attacker or high-privileged user.
Organizations that handle sensitive data – financial, healthcare, national or cyber security among others – can prevent tampering with blockchain-based ledgers. Businesses are also creating cryptographic validation for data integrity using these ledgers, thus streamlining several workstreams like auditing, supply chain among others.
According to Microsoft, SQL Servers and blockchain capabilities can collectively reinvent traditional ledgers to protect organizational data from hackers and mischievous users. Just like traditional ledgers, blockchain ledgers also preserve historical data and offer a record of changes over time. And in addition, they solidify data integrity across workstreams.
Critical outcomes of data and blockchain coming together
Let us now see the exact impact of combining blockchain and data for business –
Seamless data exchange for robust collaboration
Blockchain enables seamless and secure data sharing between different parties without any risk to data as it travels through various networks. As per a report, 75% of valuable data remains dark – or untapped – by businesses. Blockchain can help to change this by facilitating secure, convenient, and cost-effective data exchange, resulting in its effective use. This holds true for individual professionals too. For example, various blockchain-enabled platforms (e.g., Dock) enable professionals to store job-related information efficiently, manage job profiles, and exchange data confidently through a single platform.
Data decentralization for universal access
Blockchain is distributed across multiple devices, with no central database where records are stored, i.e., no central ownership or authority over the data. Instead, everyone using a particular blockchain holds equal control over the data. This leaves no scope for data manipulation, as no middlemen are involved. Also, the decentralized nature of the technology makes data analytics increasingly accessible to all business users, irrespective of their IT or data engineering skills.
Enhanced Data Integrity for tamper-proof records
There is a risk of people tampering with big data records in order to influence big data analytics predictions in their favour. The blockchain’s immutability ensures that tampering with the data stored in the blockchain network is nearly impossible. To change the data in the blockchain network, one must change it in at least 50% of the nodes in the network, which is nearly impossible. Furthermore, the blockchain’s immutability ensures that data stored on the blockchain network is trustworthy.
Existing data solutions can detect fraudulent transactions by analysing patterns only in historical data. But data is stored in blockchain, financial institutions can monitor each transaction in real time, allowing them to assess potentially fraudulent transactions on the fly. As a result, incorporating blockchain into data can assist financial institutions in preventing fraud and protecting their customers.
Let us explore this further using a blockchain and big data use a case in the healthcare industry. The sector generates massive amounts of critical data related to patients, treatments, and clinical trials. Blockchain technology adds a robust layer of security and privacy to these data sets, even as it makes them more accessible for all relevant stakeholders like healthcare workers and insurance payers.
So, when doctors need to access certain patient records, they can only do it if they are authorized on the blockchain network. Simultaneously, this network ensures that all stakeholders maintain a standard medical history format for interference-free access and use.
This ensures a higher quality of insight-led treatment, better collaboration between stakeholders, and easy continuity of treatment. Furthermore, no party, from healthcare workers to insurance payers, can alter these data sets.
The patient gains complete control over their medical data, with full information on how their sensitive information is used.
How Acuvate customers are leveraging the powerful combination of data and blockchain
A global metropolis has a certification process that authorizes workers to handle critical chemicals to maintain safety and regulate the use of asbestos in the city’s construction industry.
Traditionally, this certification process was conducted manually and proved unsuccessful. Various unauthorized workers were getting involved in handling and using asbestos using fake or duplicate certificates. Not only did this pose a danger to the lives and safety of construction workers, but it also impacted the quality of construction work and the certification revenue for the relevant city department.
The department worked with Acuvate leaders to devise and deploy a new-age data and blockchain-enabled solution. It efficiently automated and streamlined the certification process by generating centralized verifiable credentials for all certificate holders. The application, verification, and approval method moved to an online platform, where data and blockchain offered tremendous benefits.
As a result of this blockchain and data combination, the verification and certification of applicants became seamless and transparent. Consequently, there has been a dramatic reduction in certification fraud incidents and a steady increase in the government department’s revenue.
As per the World Economic Forum, up to 10% of global GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain-related technology by 2025. Such is the power and potential of blockchain in the future of financial transactions. On the other hand, data analytics is improving efficiency and making decisions more effective across 63 and 57% of organizations worldwide.
Like the city department of the global metropolis, many more organizations have successfully leveraged the potential of these two technologies and changed how data is managed and used in their organization. Moving forward, we expect this powerful union of data and blockchain to result in new and compelling use cases across organizations of all sizes and industries.
Blockchain and data hold a promising future in a world with rising decibels on data protection and verification. It is ready to disrupt business as we know it – and Acuvate is prepared for this transformation. Get in touch to know more today.