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Big Data, Data Lakes, and Blockchain with Rahul Pathak, Executive at Amazon Web Services

Episode 347
What are data lakes and how is the explosion of data impacting businesses? Rahul Pathak shares what the future holds.

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Everyone knows that data is exploding. What most people don’t realize is the pace and ways in which data is changing our everyday lives. According to Rahul Pathak, we’re seeing a “roughly 10x increase in data every 5 years, and the types of data that’s being generated is changing” as new devices are created every day. What does this data explosion mean for the future of business? And how is blockchain able to help with structuring and securing data?

“So what you have is data volume exploding. You have the need for more control of data, but I think you also see customers realizing that data is a key strategic asset for their businesses. And so they need to be able to operate with data and use it to help them prove their businesses and drive competitive advantage while still complying with everything that’s related to regulation and data protection,”says Rahul. 

On today’s episode, Ian is joined by Rahul Pathak, Executive and General Manager of all things big data, data lakes, and blockchain at Amazon Web Services. Rahul has been with AWS since 2011 and focuses on providing customers access to large scale databases and computing. Today, he is passionate about the use cases of blockchain and is working with customers to solve their business goals with this new technology. Rahul joins us to discuss blockchain, the use cases of data lakes, the future of tech, and more!

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Quotes from Rahul:

[On why AWS is paying attention to blockchain…] “We were just paying attention to what was happening in the industry around blockchain. And we really wanted to learn from our customers about what problems that really solved for them rather than just get involved because of all the hype and, as we learned more about what customers need, we realized that there was a real opportunity for some use cases that were uniquely served by blockchain.”

[On potential use cases of blockchain for AWS customers…] “Imagine something like a DMV that’s trying to track vehicle ownership and registration history. And they wanted the ability to track that in a way that couldn’t be modified or tampered with. And so that was a case where they needed a verifiable, tamper-proof record of what had happened, but they didn’t need any distributed trust. So that was a really about centralized use of immutable records.” 

[On the opportunities of data lakes] “I think the use cases are really only gonna continue to explode. If you think about it on the data side, we’re continuing to generate more and more data. Today where we all have cell phones and smart devices, but things like smartwatches are now a huge category. You’re going to have sensors embedded in more and more things. And so that volume of data that’s coming is going to continue to grow. The other thing that we’re seeing is the need to protect data and to understand who accessed it is also going to continue to grow and evolve. And you can see that with the various regulations that are popping up around the world around privacy and around who has access to what. So what you have is data volume exploding. You have the need for more control of data, but I think you also see customers realizing that data is a key strategic asset for their businesses. And so they need to be able to operate with data and use it to help them prove their businesses and drive competitive advantage while still complying with everything that’s related to regulation and data protection. And so I think the use cases are many folds and they will grow dramatically.”

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