The past few years have seen blockchain and data science feature prominently in discussions of revolutionary technologies. Healthcare and supply chain companies have been particularly quick to leverage blockchain for its advantages, suggesting that the technology is now well beyond its initial association with cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, data science has already become deeply embedded within many industries, driving a data-fuelled transformation with far-reaching implications for businesses.
It is noteworthy that both of these technologies are pioneering in their own way, yet few people are attempting to bring them together. Furthermore, all of these advanced technologies (blockchain, data science, AI, the Internet of Things, 5G, etc.) could potentially work together to reinforce each other. There are already examples of this happening, particularly between data science and AI, but not exclusively.
It is my belief that we could benefit significantly from exploring hybrid solutions rather than relying solely on any one technology. In particular, the combination of blockchain technology and data science has yet to be fully explored, but could prove highly advantageous to businesses that utilise data-driven strategies.
Considering the potential implications and advantages of using blockchain technology into data science is thus worthwhile.
New Perspectives on Blockchain Technology
It is essential to analyse the implications of blockchain and data science separately before considering the advantages of combining them. This will enable a clearer understanding of the advantages of bringing the two technologies together.
Blockchain is a decentralised ledger that operates on a network of independent computers, rather than on a single server. The architecture of this system is referred to as “blockchain” and consists of interconnected blocks. It offers decentralised features, robust encryption of all blocks and smart contracts, which are sets of rules that can be automatically enforced and triggered by the system.
Data science is increasingly recognised as a key tool for businesses. Its aim is to gain valuable insights from large data sets via analysis, machine learning algorithms, statistics and other modern techniques, such as data cleaning, organisation and processing. With such a wealth of information available, it is unsurprising that businesses are turning to data science to gain deeper understanding of their sector and improve their decision-making processes.
By bearing these two ideas in mind, it should be easier to establish the relationship between blockchain and data science, and to appreciate the potential benefits that this combination may offer.
Combining Blockchain Technology with Data Science
The relationship between these two technologies is clear when examining the associated numbers. Data Science heavily relies on reliable sources of data, and Information Analysis is integral to this. Blockchain technology offers distinct advantages for data security, as it captures, authenticates and encrypts data. This has the potential to be highly beneficial for businesses that heavily rely on data, as blockchain may provide a solution to the problem of data cleansing.
It is essential for data science that data is organised and cleansed in order to ensure significant information is preserved, while eliminating erroneous, corrupt, or duplicate records. Therefore, the various nodes in the blockchain could be responsible for cleaning the data, and the blockchain would then record and maintain the clean, ready-to-analyse data.
Data scientists could leverage the decentralised nature of blockchain to their benefit. Distributing reliable information in a decentralised ledger, called a blockchain, would make it highly challenging, if not impossible, for bad actors to hack or interfere with the data.
It is theoretically impossible to corrupt any data stored in a blockchain, as an attack would need to target the majority of nodes in the network for any modifications made to a block to be accepted and added to the chain.
It is clear that blockchain technology offers significant potential for data science initiatives. Its structure allows businesses to safely store and organize data while still maintaining access for analysis. Here, we will consider five ways in which blockchain could improve your data science strategy.
Fostering More Confidence in the SystemBlockchain technology could potentially increase the reliability of data stored for your data science projects. The additional computational power of the various nodes could be used to remove any inaccurate or duplicated information. Furthermore, smart contracts could be utilized to guarantee the accuracy of the data. Keeping the data on the chain would also ensure that any data used in your research is free of contamination and is as precise as possible.
Raising the Bar on Safety for EveryoneData protection should be taken seriously, as it can be one of your most valuable assets. Blockchain technology offers an advantage over a centralized system by making it more difficult for malicious actors to gain access to or corrupt the multiple nodes that would be required. Furthermore, a blockchain rule can be implemented which instantly removes any nodes exhibiting suspicious behavior, offering an added layer of protection.
Total Processing CapacityDue to its distributed nature, the processing capacity of a blockchain can significantly exceed that of a large number of individual computers. As a result, data scientists that are part of a certain blockchain can use it to supplement their research, reducing the amount of time and resources required to generate usable results. This paradigm can benefit everyone but is especially beneficial for smaller businesses who lack the computing power to use data science solutions.
Enhancements to Information SharingIt is worth noting that blockchain technology can potentially enable data scientists to collaborate more effectively. Specifically, secure information sharing between nodes and the ability to utilize external data sources are two key advantages. Working with a single set of clean data can be incredibly beneficial for complex projects that require involvement from multiple organizations.
Insights in Real TimeWith the availability of a wealth of resources and the ability to gain instant understanding, you are empowered to access insightful market assessments in real-time, allowing you to respond quickly to any shifting market trends or other factors. This can help you to prevent any potential issues that could potentially hinder your data science projects from arising unexpectedly.
A Successful Squad That Requires Growth
It is evident that incorporating blockchain technology into data science projects has a number of benefits, most notably enhanced security and more efficient processing. This could be a beneficial solution for businesses that are struggling to implement data science due to financial constraints. However, there are still challenges to be addressed before this combination can become commonplace.
It is clear that the cost of storing large volumes of data in a blockchain network would be considerable. Therefore, it is important to assess the cost required to build a blockchain system suitable for such a large-scale application. Furthermore, in order to ensure that all stakeholders benefit from their involvement in the blockchain, agreements regarding data validation and resource usage must be established.
Despite the current limited uptake of blockchain technology, businesses are increasingly showing a desire to explore its potential. By harnessing the potential of blockchain alongside data science, artificial intelligence, cloud-based algorithms, the Internet of Things, and other cutting-edge technologies, we stand to benefit greatly from the future of this technology.