Although the term Big data was coined by Roger Mougalas in 2005, sources show that 90% of the data we have today has been gathered over a span of the last two years only. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data that is produced every day, it is indeed tough to imagine a business that does not require data. Big data is involved in practically every organisation of every industry from banking, healthcare, retail, government, education to manufacturing.
Big Data revenues are expected to grow to $203 billion by 2020. It has also been forecasted that by 2030 the data inside the blockchain ledger would be worth up to 20% of the global Big Data market generating an annual income of up to $100 billion. No wonder so many professionals are taking up big data certification courses to keep up with the changing industry requirements.
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Where there is such a phenomenal volume of structured and unstructured data, data breaches are inevitable. The need of the hour is a system that ensures that not only is the data tamper-proof but it is also credible.
Thankfully, we have Blockchain technology as the saviour for the day. Features of blockchain like being immutable, transparent and decentralised, has made it possible to envision a world sans data leaks and hacks. Here is how the integrity of data is preserved by blockchain:
- Seamless Data Transmission: The data is directly transmitted from one user to another. All transmitted data then updates itself in the entire ledger, enabling everyone to view one single version of the data.
- Records are Each blockchain data transaction creates a permanent record that is irreversible. These records are also ordered and stored chronologically.
- Blockchains can be Programmable: It is possible to add rules and algorithms in blockchain to program functions.
With characteristics sought-after by organisations handling a large amount of data, blockchain and big data can work in tandem for many of the leading industries.
It would be safe to say that Blockchain engineers can work with a plethora of industries dealing with complex data on a daily basis. Let us see some major industries that use big data where blockchain engineers can exercise their expertise:
There is so much data that is involved in the healthcare industry concerning patient records. Big data in healthcare is used to assess methods and treatments faster, keep an organised track of inventory, share the progress reports with patients etc.
Poorly handled patient data can increase the risk of health insurance frauds, identity thefts, patients being misdiagnosed or getting wrong prescriptions. Pivoting healthcare databases over the blockchain technology would eliminate the tampering of patient data and help in creating one permanent, immutable database that can be exchanged by all medical practitioners within a healthcare unit.
Whether it is keeping track of customer’s journey analytics, providing a personalised experience to the customers using in-store customer data, or increasing conversion rate using data-driven consumer behaviour insights; big data in the retail industry has covered it all.
However, when it comes to fortifying security and credibility in this industry, the Blockchain technology can certainly take it to the next level. The data related to the product life cycle in a retail supply chain, collected with the help of Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID), can be stored securely on the blockchain.
This data can thus be shared without the fear of being tampered. Another requirement from blockchain engineer in a retail industry can be making sure that the massive amount of customer’s personal data is made secure using the digital ledger.
With blockchain, it would become easier to integrate all kinds of data from banks, third-party apps on a mobile device, and credit card companies etc. to weave a personalised experience for the customer without breaching the data privacy.
The insurance industry experiences a flow of data from a variety of sources. Big data handles all the information that is gathered about the customers, it takes care of the data related to threat mapping of customers and also keeps a record of the customer experience.
Blockchain technology is a boon for the insurance industry, which requires synchronising and liaison of multiple intermediaries for processing of large chunks of data. Blockchain technology helps the insurance companies to improve data security. The blockchain safely records all the data of the insuree as well as his transaction details. Thus all the vital data is managed digitally in a transparent and decentralised manner eliminating insurance related frauds.
Thus an industry that primarily collects or records people’s data, blockchain engineers can prove their mettle by revolutionising data storage and privacy standards.
Another data heavy industry that is the baking sector, has been completely disrupted by big data today. By facilitating easy customer segmentation, accessing millions of public records effectively and catering to the client requirements in an economical way, Big Data has completely changed the face of this sector. However, it still faces one of the most prominent issues that is lack of data storage safety. Blockchain being a decentralised and transparent network has created multiple career opportunities for Blockchain engineers in this sector.
A lot of international banks have been testing the efficacy of blockchain for the same reason. For example, the Polish Bank has a Credit Data Processing Bureau, that records the credit histories of about 150 million Europeans. A British fintech called the Billon Group, made a unique system based on blockchain for their bureau to process customer data. Upon successful completion of this project, the storage of personal information of clients will transform completely.
This is one of the major reasons why blockchain engineers are in-demand even in an industry as narrow as the banking sector.
The government sector probably has one of the most extensive archives of sensitive information about individuals, activities and organisations. The data ranges from birth and death records, criminal records, business licensing records to property records. With the help of Big Data, the government is now able to access, organise and make sense of this ocean of information on a daily basis.
However, no matter how advanced the governments become, managing this level of data securely seems like a utopian vision. Not to mention that many of these records exist only on paper. There is absolutely no room for human errors and unauthorised access. In such circumstances, blockchain technology can solve all these problems using its data protection features.
In fact, the government in many countries have started exploring blockchain technology for managing public records. Dubai has recently expressed its ambition to become the world’s first paperless government using blockchain.
The Union of Big Data and Blockchain
It is imperative to understand that Blockchain can securely facilitate the storage and transfer of sensitive data in various industries, but it does not generate data. Therefore, the concoction of blockchain technology with the data itself becomes a powerful combination. Combining the knowledge of blockchain with big data will ensure that you amass relevant, credible and quality data. This integrity in data quality is what industry giants are looking for today.
So if you are a blockchain engineer looking to upskill your career and earn big money, big data is your perfect companion.