In this age of the Internet of Things, the need for businesses to make data driven decisions has become critical. The amount of consumer data available for analysis continues to grow exponentially, creating more opportunities for businesses to tap into it.
Effective use of big data means better decision making and hence business profitability and growth. According to a report by EY, the robust growth in big data is disrupting the way businesses compete and operate. Businesses that are able to derive value from their data are emerging as leaders in their industries while those that do not are finding themselves being pushed to obsolescence.
As Geoffrey Moore, the famous American organizational theorist, author and management consultant puts it, without big data, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out into the web like a deer on a freeway. But is every business utilizing big data today? The answer is no! While most Fortune 500 companies have a big data strategy in place, the majority of small and medium enterprises do not. This is because implementing an effective big data strategy requires specialized skills and expensive software the majority of these businesses cannot afford.
Introducing Big Data Blockchain
However, with the blockchain technology, businesses will now be able to leverage big data analytics without having to worry about cost or complexity. But before we discuss how blockchain is enabling businesses to implement big data strategies effectively and at low costs, let us first look at the relationship between the blockchain technology and big data.
While big data analytics is about deriving insights from large pools of data, blockchain is about enabling fully transparent P2P transactions and also protecting consumers’ data from exploitation by third parties. The blockchain technology involves an immutable public ledger where transactions can automatically be verified and information stored securely hence eliminating the need for intermediaries.
With this in mind, it is logical to conclude blockchain systems provide a rich data source for analytics while ensuring that the presented data is accurate and the users’ sensitive data is protected. According to VentureBeat, the application of the blockchain technology in big data and analytics makes it possible to turn insights and questions into assets. Apart from guaranteeing data security and accuracy, blockchain minimizes costs through the decentralization of data storage.
Small Businesses and Big Data Blockchain
But how does blockchain help small and medium enterprises with limited budgets take advantage of big data and analytics? The answer to this question lies in the decentralization of the process. Blockchain platforms powered by AI and Machine Learning are providing an avenue where businesses can access high-quality data and insights at a low cost and without having to buy complicated software or hire data scientists. Through these platforms, consumers and data providers can securely allow access to their data and in return get rewarded in cryptocurrencies.
Endor, a blockchain platform developed by MIT engineers, is a good example of how AI and blockchain are interacting to improve big data analytics. The platform seeks to become the “Google for predictive analysis” by enabling businesses to ask predictive questions in plain language and get automated accurate predictions. To make this happen, Endor has introduced a new Social Physics Technology, where machines and scientific data can integrate to predict social issues.
Social Physics is a scientific discipline that utilizes large data, data analysis and the mathematics of human psychology and biology to understand human behavior. Consumers who share their data with the Endor platform are paid in EDRs which can be converted into other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies.
Another up-and-coming blockchain project is also bent on shaping the way small businesses process and utilize big data. Slated to be launched in the MCW 2018, Wibson will let users and consumers sell their data directly to advertisers; creating a system in which small businesses can pinpoint their audiences with surgical precision and target an already engaged userbase.
Instead of a costly “shotgun approach” to advertising, small businesses will be able to figure out the exact niches that need approaching and will be able to rely on their newly acquired user data to direct their marketing efforts.
As the blockchain technology continues to gain acceptance in mainstream institutions, its roles in big data analytics are bound to become more pronounced. This is therefore the best time for small and medium enterprises to start utilizing the available options and for investors to get in the game.
Photo via Shutterstock