Quadrant CEO Mike Davie: Blockchain Promises to Bring Transparency to the Data Economy
The Data Economy is huge, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day at our current pace, and revenues for Big Data and Business Analytics Solutions Forecast to reach $260 Billion in 2022, led by the Banking and Manufacturing Industries.
According to IDC, the “digital universe” will reach 180 zettabytes in 2025. However, to solve the problem of “trust” it is vital to bring transparency to the Data Economy.
Blockchain can help. Mike Davie, the CEO and Founder of Quadrant, talked with CoinTime and shed some light on the realities of Data Economy and how we can bring trust and transparency through blockchain.
Dealing with Data Non-transparency
What is the Data Economy, and how does it work? Broadly put, it is the production, flow, buying and selling of data. Data producers -- such as ride-sharing apps which emit data on the movements of passengers and drivers, -- create data, which is then stored in data storage centers and often purchased by a third party who seeks to use the data for their own, separate business purposes.
Quadrant’s Mike Davie, with years of experience in the industry, explains some of the current problems associated with the production and transferring of data.
Currently, if a large consumer firm wanted to know how many consumers bought its products around the world, it would have to go through a series of middlemen to gather this data from individual retailers, loyalty card companies, POS companies etc.
For the original purchaser, approaching each individual data source would be time-consuming and complex, requiring separate contracts with each vendor. Therefore, these aggregators play a role in facilitating such data requests. Many of these companies, though, try to hide their sources and make that non-transparent. They do not want to show where this data comes from for either malicious reasons (data could be false, replicated) or non-malicious reasons (they either don’t know or want to protect their own sources). This is problematic for the purchaser from a trust point of view, and from a regulatory one.
“Without knowing the original source of the data, it is hard for companies to know its quality and accuracy.” Mike stressed, “we are in a world where data can be faked very easily, and inaccurate data can lead to wrong decisions.” As governments continue to crack down on personal data use, they are insisting on knowing the provenance of data from companies.
Immutable Ledger, the Ground Work
The immutable ledger could provide the solution to this problem, bringing trust and activating the value of the data economy. with Blockchain-enabled data authentication technology, Quadrant is working on building this new world.
Quadrant uses its Blockchain-enabled data authentication technology to stamp data with a unique signature (also known as a ‘Hash’) as it is created, placing it on Quadrant’s blockchain. This guarantees that, from the time of stamping, any change in or corruption of the data will result in misalignment to the unique signature, signaling to the buyer that the data has been changed. By creating an ecosystem that enables access to data that is authentic, traceable and mapped, Quadrant solves data challenges and spurs innovation.
Mike Davie mentioned that by utilizing blockchain companies can create an immutable ledger that can reference the data by hashing it and putting it on the blockchain. So, whenever it is consumed and analyzed, they go back to the data source, knowing that the data is true to the moment that the data was created and stamped. With blockchain, people are able to trace the bad data to the bad actor whenever the data is delivered in a bad state. This allows for trust and transparency in the data economy, as companies are able to know the exact source of their data. Moreover, it also allows companies to map disparate sources of data together, organizing the data and making it easier to innovate and develop creative solutions and products.
Benefit All Sides Directly
“Organizations who would benefit from this technology fall into two main categories.” Said Mike.
Firstly, data producers would use Quadrant to stamp their own data with an immutable historic ledger. This creates a record of the data that they produce and provides a guarantee that the data is authentic as at the time of stamping. Importantly, this also creates trust and encourages organizations to use their data.
Secondly, data users would benefit from our technology. These users could be any industry or type of organization – from start-up to multi-national, government to NGO – and they would require data to help them make business or strategic decisions.
Many of these users would be making multi-million-dollar decisions based on analysis of data and so it is vitally important that the data they use is accurate and authentic. Furthermore, Mike’s team is seeing a growth in the development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which needs accurate, quality data in order to work properly.
“Organizations worldwide– both government and private – would benefit greatly from data authentication technology as many countries face significant problems with fake data. If this data was stamped then the authorities would know exactly where this fake data came from, creating accountability and discouraging firms from falsifying data.” Mike told CoinTime.
Vision Of blockchain-based Data Economy
“I see the overall image of Blockchain improving and becoming more trusted as people start to see it used more and more often.” Mike continued.
He believes that blockchain technology has a good reputation, but it is still perceived as highly complex and therefore inaccessible to many people, whether they are the general public or the business community. However, people will start to see more high-profile use-cases of blockchain benefitting businesses and ordinary consumers, which will start to demystify the technology. For example, Walmart is using Blockchain technology to track its green vegetables, asking all of its suppliers to upload their data to the blockchain by September 2019.
Walmart won’t be the only company using Blockchain to bring more order and transparency to its supply chain. Most industries that have long and complex supply chains have issues with transparency (or lack thereof), which in turn allows bad actors to appear and flourish. Blockchain technology will start to be used in industries from food (like Walmart) to logistics and shipping, which in turn will result in a more efficient, cleaner supply chain.
To talk about new opportunities that we should focus on, Mike suggested that any opportunity where Blockchain ties into Big Data is one to watch. Data is the new lifeblood of the economy and new innovations will rely primarily on data to power themselves. This could be a new transport app, a FinTech solution, Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation or even a major public transport project. Data will be key to the success of these initiatives and this, in turn, will drive demand for more, and higher-quality data that is organized in a way that can be used effectively.
With a profound belief in blockchain，mike concluded that “There are some amazing things being done using Blockchain technology – from cleaning up the Data Economy to bringing accuracy and reliability to food supply chains. These are the kinds of good-news stories that will bring Blockchain into the mainstream in the years to come.”
Executive editor： Red