Who cares about data provenance?

Without context, there’s no meaning

To better understand a person, it’s often helpful to understand their context. What language do they speak? What city are they from? How old are they? Which schools did they attend and what did they study?

Data is no different. If you don’t know where your data came from, who created it, when it was made, and which dataset it belongs to, it can be premature or even misguided to draw meaningful conclusions. 

However tracking and communicating this source information can be very difficult. Particularly in typical environments where data producers and data consumers have unaligned incentives, as is often the case. 
 

A few financial examples

One area we’re focused on given our prior experience is financial data. It’s very easy to make a profitable financial strategy with the benefit of hindsight. Thus, knowing when financial data was created and who created it is almost as important as the actual observations themselves. 

If you’re constructing a financial index, tracking a portfolio, making financial predictions, or generating data that may be useful for predictive analysis, recording the provenance of this information is likely to make your data more trustworthy and more valuable.

Introducing vBase

vBase is a cheap, scalable, robust means of assuring the provenance of data records and digital objects, and of communicating it to others. 

If you’re working with time-sensitive financial data or know people who are, please reach us via  hello@vbase.com, we’d love to hear from you.