Blockchain is a digital and decentralized public ledger with a system that records transactions across several computers linked to a peer-to-peer network. It was originally developed for cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but in recent years more opportunities have presented themselves.
An article published on FXCM lists some of blockchain’s potential uses beyond cryptocurrency, including for government applications, healthcare, identity management, and the music industry. It also mentions blockchain’s potential uses with the IoT (Internet of Things), which is in line with a previous article here on Analytics Training. The article points out how blockchain’s decentralized nature can help keep connected devices and systems more secure.
The Rise of Data Analytics
Aside from all the aforementioned areas, blockchain also huge potential in analytics. Modern businesses have been benefiting from data analytics for several years now. According to Forbes, data analytics adoption in enterprises increased from 17% in 2015 to 59% in 2018. Now, only 10% of businesses have refused to utilize big data.
One category of data analytics that is poised to change and transform the industry is predictive analytics. It is focused on making predictions about future outcomes based on a massive amount of historical data as well as techniques like machine learning. With this type of technology, enterprises will be able to forecast trends and behaviors.
The current state of predictive analytics is hardly perfect. A huge obstacle to overcome is getting quality data from different sources and correlating them. Digital agencies and IT firms have their own silos of data and use different tools in obtaining them. There is also the issue of whether there is enough of the right data. When there is not enough for the system to make conclusions from, the results of predictions may be biased and untrustworthy.
Blockchain and Predictive Analytics
Blockchain technology might be able to fill the gap in this space. As explained on Towards Data Science, blockchain’s computational power is gained from multiple connected computers, hence it is powerful enough to properly define the model to be analysed based on a vast number of datasets. It would use its power to analyse the different stored datasets across computers and pull up the ones that can provide the answer.
What’s more, blockchain may be the cloud equivalent to one physical supercomputer, which makes it accessible to small businesses. Currently, companies that want to utilize predictive analytics have to rely on expensive super machines. With blockchain implemented, the costs to obtain such analytics tools will be lessened.
As for potential applications, blockchain analytics could be used in marketing strategies. Marketers could be able to prepare for future marketing campaigns with the help of data gained from market realities. The system might be able to forecast price movements for financial markets, including cryptocurrencies.
The fusion of data and blockchain technology is poised to grow even more in the next couple of years. A MicroStrategy 2018 report cited that 25% of organisations are thinking of moving their analytics platform to the cloud within the next 5 years. This could provide an opportunity for blockchain to display its potential as developers continue to experiment.
The article is written by James Crew and published by Aravind.