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Welcome to part four of Fluree’s Data-Centric Architecture series, where we peel back each layer of Fluree’s data-centric architecture stack.
Our first installment, “Data-Centric Trust,” describes the ways in which data provenance, lineage, and integrity are central to a healthy data ecosystem. Our second installment, “Semantic Data Interoperability,” covers how formatting data under a common vocabulary can help data ecosystems exchange information with meaning. Our third installment, “Data-Centric Security,” covers how managing security and compliance at the data layer improves data delivery velocity to end users while reducing attack surfaces.
Combining these concepts of trust, security, and interoperability into a single data layer makes for a powerful architecture that paves the way for “data ecosystems,” where many data consumers and many data sources dynamically collaborate. Today’s post will focus on enabling these data ecosystems to efficiently and compliantly collaborate by adding time as a key element to the data architecture.
Data ecosystems rely on sources of data truth – but there is no “truth” without time. If we are to dynamically collaborate around data, we must have access to a shared understanding of time in order to make accurate decisions. We must also be able to “roll back” data version history to view data sets “as of” any moment in time. And finally, we must be able to review the entire history of changes to a datum over the entirety of its existence. In addition to data collaboration, there are three fundamental drivers to temporal data management:
Traditional databases have no notion of time – data lives in tabular or graphical format without historical context, leaving us guessing as to the details of the information’s history. Some RDMS providers offer “point-in-time” recovery that restores a server to a previous state, but these snapshot capabilities are inflexible and generally require double-writes. Data collaboration suffers under this “black-box” approach to records management, especially when relying on third-party data. How did this data get into the system? When was it changed, and how long ago?
Immutable databases, such as Fluree’s data ledger system, treat data as facts that can never be destroyed. Instead of an update-and-replace system where data is overwritten, immutable databases create a historical account of data values over time in a ledger. Thus, every version of every piece of data is preserved and reproducible, even if it has technically been “updated” in a future version.
Fluree takes these concepts a few steps further by adding cryptographic trust to the immutable ledger, effectively allowing users to not only review and report on data history but also prove data integrity.
“Lock-in” Time in Collaborative Environments: Data ecosystems need to lock in a shared understanding of time in order to efficiently collaborate and exchange information. For example, multiple systems (or humans) leveraging a mutual data source need a consistent view of information without the possibility that it could have served up older or newer versions to different consumers as queries concurrently hit. Using timestamps as a metadata characteristic allows microservices architectures or data scientists that leverage a source of truth to “lock in” a specific time for reliable query results. This capability becomes increasingly valuable in data applications where real-time data drives decisions or operations across an ecosystem.
Traceability and Reproducibility: Fluree’s time travel capability allows apps to query as of any specific point in time, or across multiple versions time. History queries allow apps to query a single data point throughout time, listing out the complete traceability to that one piece of information. Time travel can even be deployed in the future tense by adding mock data and generating “what if?” analysis within a query. Learn more about time travel here.
Data Audit and Compliance: As data pervades consumers’ lives, privacy and compliance has become a central concern for enterprise data management teams. With Fluree’s ledger of immutable (and provable) transactions, organizations can review and report out historical data. Organizations can effectively show auditors the exact state of any database, who has or had access to data, and the complete path of CRUD operations over time.
Multi-Version Command and Control: Fluree’s immutable structure supports versioning, branching, and merging of data ledgers. This allows developers and data scientists to build efficient collaborative workflows around data, akin to Git.
Let’s explore a few theoretical drawbacks to immutable data management:
Q: If we are effectively creating a new database at the point of every transaction, won’t our storage requirements explode?
A: Fluree handles transactions incredibly efficiently – the ledger system will only store the deltas to the database. This means that although we effectively have access to every database version to ever exist, the memory does not exponentially grow. Learn more about how we deal with immutable indexes here.
Q: Does accounting for time add significant latency to queries against historical versions of a Fluree database?
A: One might expect query latency to be significantly longer when adding a temporal dimension to data. In Fluree, this is not an issue as time is a metadata value that is indexed along with every other component of a transaction. It is extraordinarily efficient, and an end-user should never have to concern themselves with querying a ledger as of current or historical times. A query as-of the present will return just as efficiently as the same query as-of 100 days and three seconds ago. Learn more about “time” as an element to every index here.
Q: An immutable database like Fluree cannot delete data – isn’t this a direct violation for data under GDPR’s right to be forgotten policy?
A: Fluree pairs immutability with data-centric security, the powerful ability to embed data access and usage control policies as data-layer executable code. With Fluree, granular and arbitrary permissions for data access are enforced at the data layer using cryptographic identities to sign queries and transactions. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to data privacy regulations, Fluree’s SmartFunctions allow for flexibility in enforcing data compliance policies and tying them to cryptographic identities and keys. Read more about data-centric security here.
Thanks for taking the time to read about time, the fourth layer of Fluree’s Data-Centric Architecture. The next blog in this series, “Data-Centric Sharing,” is available here.
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Partner, Analytic Strategy Partners; Frederick H. Rawson Professor in Medicine and Computer Science, University of Chicago and Chief of the Section of Biomedical Data Science in the Department of Medicine
Robert Grossman has been working in the field of data science, machine learning, big data, and distributed computing for over 25 years. He is a faculty member at the University of Chicago, where he is the Jim and Karen Frank Director of the Center for Translational Data Science. He is the Principal Investigator for the Genomic Data Commons, one of the largest collections of harmonized cancer genomics data in the world.
He founded Analytic Strategy Partners in 2016, which helps companies develop analytic strategies, improve their analytic operations, and evaluate potential analytic acquisitions and opportunities. From 2002-2015, he was the Founder and Managing Partner of Open Data Group (now ModelOp), which was one of the pioneers scaling predictive analytics to large datasets and helping companies develop and deploy innovative analytic solutions. From 1996 to 2001, he was the Founder and CEO of Magnify, which is now part of Lexis-Nexis (RELX Group) and provides predictive analytics solutions to the insurance industry.
Robert is also the Chair of the Open Commons Consortium (OCC), which is a not-for-profit that manages and operates cloud computing infrastructure to support scientific, medical, health care and environmental research.
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Founder, DataStraits Inc., Chief Revenue Officer, 3i Infotech Ltd
Sudeep Nadkarni has decades of experience in scaling managed services and hi-tech product firms. He has driven several new ventures and corporate turnarounds resulting in one IPO and three $1B+ exits. VC/PE firms have entrusted Sudeep with key executive roles that include entering new opportunity areas, leading global sales, scaling operations & post-merger integrations.
Sudeep has broad international experience having worked, lived, and led firms operating in US, UK, Middle East, Asia & Africa. He is passionate about bringing innovative business products to market that leverage web 3.0 technologies and have embedded governance risk and compliance.
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CEO, Data4Real LLC
Julia Bardmesser is a technology, architecture and data strategy executive, board member and advisor. In addition to her role as CEO of Data4Real LLC, she currently serves as Chair of Technology Advisory Council, Women Leaders In Data & AI (WLDA). She is a recognized thought leader in data driven digital transformation with over 30 years of experience in building technology and business capabilities that enable business growth, innovation, and agility. Julia has led transformational initiatives in many financial services companies such as Voya Financial, Deutsche Bank Citi, FINRA, Freddie Mac, and others.
Julia is a much sought-after speaker and mentor in the industry, and she has received recognition across the industry for her significant contributions. She has been named to engatica 2023 list of World’s Top 200 Business and Technology Innovators; received 2022 WLDA Changemaker in AI award; has been named to CDO Magazine’s List of Global Data Power Wdomen three years in the row (2020-2022); named Top 150 Business Transformation Leader by Constellation Research in 2019; and recognized as the Best Data Management Practitioner by A-Team Data Management Insight in 2017.
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Senior Advisor, Board Member, Strategic Investor
After nine years leading the rescue and turnaround of Banco del Progreso in the Dominican Republic culminating with its acquisition by Scotiabank (for a 2.7x book value multiple), Mark focuses on advisory relationships and Boards of Directors where he brings the breadth of his prior consulting and banking/payments experience.
In 2018, Mark founded Alberdi Advisory Corporation where he is engaged in advisory services for the biotechnology, technology, distribution, and financial services industries. Mark enjoys working with founders of successful businesses as well as start-ups and VC; he serves on several Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards including MPX – Marco Polo Exchange – providing world-class systems and support to interconnect Broker-Dealers and Family Offices around the world and Fluree – focusing on web3 and blockchain. He is actively engaged in strategic advisory with the founder and Executive Committee of the Biotechnology Institute of Spain with over 50 patents and sales of its world-class regenerative therapies in more than 30 countries.
Prior work experience includes leadership positions with MasterCard, IBM/PwC, Kearney, BBVA and Citibank. Mark has worked in over 30 countries – extensively across Europe and the Americas as well as occasional experiences in Asia.
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Chair of the Board, Enterprise Data Management Council
Peter Serenita was one of the first Chief Data Officers (CDOs) in financial services. He was a 28-year veteran of JPMorgan having held several key positions in business and information technology including the role of Chief Data Officer of the Worldwide Securities division. Subsequently, Peter became HSBC’s first Group Chief Data Officer, focusing on establishing a global data organization and capability to improve data consistency across the firm. More recently, Peter was the Enterprise Chief Data Officer for Scotiabank focused on defining and implementing a data management capability to improve data quality.
Peter is currently the Chairman of the Enterprise Data Management Council, a trade organization advancing data management globally across industries. Peter was a member of the inaugural Financial Research Advisory Committee (under the U.S. Department of Treasury) tasked with improving data quality in regulatory submissions to identify systemic risk.
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Pawan came to Fluree via its acquisition of ZettaLabs, an AI based data cleansing and mastering company.His previous experiences include IBM where he was part of the Strategy, Business Development and Operations team at IBM Watson Health’s Provider business. Prior to that Pawan spent 10 years with Thomson Reuters in the UK, US, and the Middle East. During his tenure he held executive positions in Finance, Sales and Corporate Development and Strategy. He is an alumnus of The Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University.
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Andrew “Flip” Filipowski is one of the world’s most successful high-tech entrepreneurs, philanthropists and industry visionaries. Mr. Filipowski serves as Co-founder and Co-CEO of Fluree, where he seeks to bring trust, security, and versatility to data.
Mr. Filipowski also serves as co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of SilkRoad Equity, a global private investment firm, as well as the co-founder, of Tally Capital.
Mr. Filipowski was the former COO of Cullinet, the largest software company of the 1980’s. Mr. Filipowski founded and served as Chairman and CEO of PLATINUM technology, where he grew PLATINUM into the 8th largest software company in the world at the time of its sale to Computer Associates for $4 billion – the largest such transaction for a software company at the time. Upside Magazine named Mr. Filipowski one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Information Technology. A recipient of Entrepreneur of the Year Awards from both Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch, Mr. Filipowski has also been awarded the Young President’s Organization Legacy Award and the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty award for his work fighting hate on the Internet.
Mr. Filipowski is or has been a founder, director or executive of various companies, including: Fuel 50, Veriblock, MissionMode, Onramp Branding, House of Blues, Blue Rhino Littermaid and dozens of other recognized enterprises.
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Brian is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Fluree, PBC, a North Carolina-based Public Benefit Corporation.
Platz was an entrepreneur and executive throughout the early internet days and SaaS boom, having founded the popular A-list apart web development community, along with a host of successful SaaS companies. He is now helping companies navigate the complexity of the enterprise data transformation movement.
Previous to establishing Fluree, Brian co-founded SilkRoad Technology which grew to over 2,000 customers and 500 employees in 12 global offices. Brian sits on the board of Fuel50 and Odigia, and is an advisor to Fabric Inc.
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Eliud Polanco is a seasoned data executive with extensive experience in leading global enterprise data transformation and management initiatives. Previous to his current role as President of Fluree, a data collaboration and transformation company, Eliud was formerly the Head of Analytics at Scotiabank, Global Head of Analytics and Big Data at HSBC, head of Anti-Financial Crime Technology Architecture for U.S.DeutscheBank, and Head of Data Innovation at Citi.
In his most recent role as Head of Analytics and Data Standards at Scotiabank, Eliud led a full-spectrum data transformation initiative to implement new tools and technology architecture strategies, both on-premises as well as on Cloud, for ingesting, analyzing, cleansing, and creating consumption ready data assets.
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