Data is the new gold of the digital world, a vital resource which when it comes to us as individual consumers and participants on the web, is coveted, used and commodified by Google, Facebook and other giant corporations.
As a measurable unit of information, data is ubiquitous, including in the business world. In that realm, it is viewed as a vehicle for growth, by enabling not only collaboration and the realisation of shared goals between businesses, but internally gives enterprises a competitive edge or a way to differentiate themselves. The marketplace recognises the importance of data, evidenced by the creation of new industries and careers which traverse data collection, analysis, and processing.
In centralised business and financing models, data storage, distribution and usage presents a number of challenges, such as data duplication, human input errors, inaccessibility, and questions around authenticity, validity and accuracy.
The problem of data silos is particularly pernicious. Data silos refer to the segmentation or isolation of data in way that undermines transparency, accessibility and verifiability. This can be the result of organisational culture, technological barriers, scaling issues, or other factors. Data silos can give an incomplete view of the business, create a less collaborative work environment, lead to bad customer experience, slow the pace of an organisation, waste storage space, and promote a closed culture.
Centrifuge brings with it a novel proposition to unlock data in a way that is verifiable, preserves its integrity and protection, and which creates material value and exchange. Its approach resolves a specific set of significant problems with data management.
Problem: Under existing financing frameworks, each business party stores and validates data independently, according to their own rules. This can create inconsistency and poor decision making around how data is used.
Solution: Creating on the blockchain a global, single and inalterable source of truth that ensures consensus on data documents.
Problem: Data is often stored in disparate, disconnected and siloed systems or networks with inconsistent ways of assigning status to that data. This creates inefficiency and undermines the trust in the system.
A single, shared source of truth around the data through a codified governance model restores faith in the veracity of the data.
Problem: Data is often locked in single purpose, or private deployments. Although users might own their data, they are unable to use it or share it with other interests or third party applications in way that could benefit the business.
Solution: Data is stored and used in a decentralised way, allowing users the flexibility to share their data at a granular level while keeping all other data private. This system allows parties to share what data they choose with the party of their choice and for specific, agreed upon purposes. This removes the power of a single actor to censor the possibility of this exchange.
New generation of applications
Problem: Under a closed, segmented data management model, the ability of build, deploy and leverage applications that can advance the interests of the business is stifled. Launching new applications might require the re-building of the business network or creation of new marketplaces, which is costly, time consuming and creates another bureaucratic layer.
Solution: Under the Centrifuge system, users can freely choose whom to grant access to their information. For example, third party applications can receive access to current transactions, and history and document relationships. This might engender customisable and innovative responses to issues that plague the business.
Relationships between business and their data
Problem: Under siloed arrangements, linking businesses relationships, reputation and supply chain connections freely is difficult if not impossible. This undermines improvements to financing protocols and other processes.
Solution: Mapping relationships becomes not only possible but a central feature, which enables better ways of delivering payments, creating finance options and improving supply chain outcomes.
By connecting to a shared operating system, individual actors with their own unique values and interests can interact productively without giving up control of their data. The data can instead go to work to benefit themselves and their business partners, and the data itself can express a value that was previously not fully appreciated.