The Benefits of Blockchain to Big Data

By Mark Miljkovic

Big data technology is taking the world by storm. 

In fact, big data statistics show that people are generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, and that the big data industry should be worth an estimated $77 billion by 2023.

But, before we dive in any further, what is big data anyway?

What Is Big Data?

Big data is the complex accumulation of massive data sets.These sets become so large that traditional data processing systems can no longer handle them.

A typical user browses the internet with an average download speed of 44 megabits per second. Research shows that it would take that user approximately three million years to complete a download of all the information that’s currently on the internet – without considering the data being generated in the meantime.

Big data uses specialized data processing systems to rapidly generate large volumes of data from a variety of sources on the internet.

Although big data has shown in recent years that it can be analyzed for insights to bring about improved results, there are still challenges and concerns that arise with its usage. 

Some of the challenges encountered by big data include: 

  • Accumulation of dirty data
  • Inability to access some private ledgers on the internet due to protection from its owners
  • Privacy issues, etc.

This is where blockchain comes into play.

What Is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology works on a distributed ledger system. What this means is that transactions carried out in the blockchain network are accessible to anyone and controlled by no one.

However, transactions carried out in the blockchain have to be verified by a network of computers known as “miners.” It is when a block (a group of transactions happening at the same time) is verified that it gets added to the chain of already verified and unmodifiable past transactions in the system.

Every verified block contains details such as a link to the previous block and date of transaction. These details are what make the blockchain network secure, as no one has access to change any of it. 

Also, the chain arrangement of blockchain technology makes information easily accessible and highly reliable, unlike those generated from big data.

How Blockchain Can Benefit Big Data

  • Increased Data Security

Due to its decentralized ledger system and cryptographic principles of storing data, it would require a lot of computing power for anyone to try and hack the blockchain network.

To hack an already verified transaction or block in the blockchain, you would have to hack every other past transaction in the network. Plus, all changes would need to go through the approval of “miners” (set of advanced computer systems responsible for verifying transactions in the blockchain network) before the system can affect the change.

Therefore, implementing blockchain technology to big data would ensure that all data generated is relatively secured and controlled by no one or centralized ledger.

  • Improved Integrity of Data

The accumulation of dirty and unusable data is one of the challenges affecting the growth of big data. With blockchain, every piece of information generated by big data would need to go through a vetting process by a set of interconnected computers before it is added to the blockchain network.

That way, issues like repeated data, incomplete data, and so many others that make up dirty data will be eliminated. This would further lead to an increase in the accuracy and reliability of information stored in the system.

  • Transparency

By introducing blockchain into big data, the challenge of the inaccessibility of big data to some privately secured ledgers is eliminated.

Since the information in the blockchain is decentralized, anyone anywhere can conveniently have access to information in the blockchain and make use of it for their benefit.

  • Reduced Cost of Storage

Big data information stored in the blockchain becomes a part of the blockchain system, thus eliminating the need for a centralized ledger. This results in a reduction in cost.

  • Improvement in Predictive Analysis

Data scientists who make use of big data for insights will find that the introduction of blockchain to big data will significantly improve the process. This is because data coming from the blockchain is already verified, and free from unwanted information. It also ensures that there are no restrictions as to the amount and type of data that can be accessed.

Conclusion

Experts are trying to eliminate the challenges faced by big data analysts around the world by introducing blockchain to big data.

Combining the qualities of both can result in tremendous results as the data generated is actionable, and clean.