How to Analyze Blockchain Data
Is your business looking for a fast and intuitive platform to interpret complex blockchain data and translate raw code into meaningful insights?
Whether you’re building a private blockchain network or taking part in an established consortium or public blockchains, knowing how to read blockchain data is vital to monitor your processes and stay up-to-date with important on-chain events.
Here at Anyblock Analytics, we’ve developed a full suite of dedicated tools for blockchain analytics to help blockchain users access human-readable blockchain data in a single, easy-to-use platform.
Join us as we walk you through the process of transforming raw blockchain data into powerful dashboards and graphical user interfaces (GUIs).
The Problem With Raw Blockchain Data
The first problem you’ll encounter when you try to make sense of blockchain data is the complexity of raw code. If you’ve ever looked at a typical Ethereum transaction with its hexadecimal blockchain data, you’ll understand what we’re talking about:
Luckily, there are plenty of useful tools to help you turn this data into readable insights. Block Explorers like Etherscan or our own are particularly handy if you want to assess the current state of a blockchain and list transaction information for a particular address.
While this real-time feed can be extremely useful, Block Explorers don’t help much with data interpretation when reviewing historical events on the blockchain or comparing different addresses. For example, if you want to search for a specific transaction or token that was processed months ago and aggregate the results, you’ll need another solution.
Blockchain Analytics with the Anyblock Index
The team of developers at Anyblock Analytics has created a dedicated indexing tool to target this exact pain point. The Anyblock Index was born to help search historical records across multiple production networks and testnets with lightning speeds and using well-established standards.
Analyzing Blockchain Data
While indexing tools do all the hard work of translating raw blockchain data into a human-readable format, it’s useful to understand the core process and appreciate what data points are used to generate meaningful blockchain insights.
There are four fundamental building blocks to blockchain analytics:
- Smart contracts or ‘self-executing protocols’ are necessary to trigger the transfer of information and process changes on a blockchain. For example, on Ethereum you’ll need an Application Binary Interface (ABI) to translate the raw data into human-legible information.
- An address is required to direct the movement of transactions on a blockchain. Without them, it would be impossible to track the ownership of tokens. For the translation and subsequent filtering of the data, you’ll need the address of the contract code in question.
- Indexing tools collate information from multiple blockchain networks to create a searchable archive of on-chain events. In our case, you can access the data with the most common database technology and query language: SQL (or via Elasticsearch API).
- Blockchain dashboards provide a visual representation of key insights and use intuitive graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to help key stakeholders understand what’s happening on the blockchain. No visualization tool “speaks blockchain”, but all are easily connectable to a SQL data source, such as our index.
Blockchain Analytics Data Visualization & Dashboards
Once you’ve generated human-readable insights, blockchain dashboards are a valuable way to track important data points and provide managers with a birds-eye view of what’s happening on the blockchain. Instead of having to scroll through line after line of complex code, dashboards collate all of the key information into a single, easy-to-use interface.
If your private blockchain is used to support a B2C business tool, dashboards can also be a useful way to communicate important information to individual customers or the wider community and build trust through increased transparency.
Blockchain Use Cases: Combining Big Data and Blockchain Data Analytics in Insurance
The best way to demonstrate how indexing tools and dashboards can help you make sense of blockchain data is to explore a real-life use case.
While blockchain has commercial applications across a vast range of industries, one of the most exciting use cases is in the insurance sector. Insurance companies, like AXA, are experimenting with distributed ledger technologies to accelerate administrative tasks and provide customers with on-the-spot compensation when they make a claim.
After launching Fizzy in 2017, AXA set out on using smart contracts to streamline the issuance and settlement of flight insurance. While the project was eventually canceled in 2019, Fizzy is an excellent example of how complex protocols can be simplified and communicated into a usable customer-facing tool.
Fizzy’s customers could relax in the knowledge that their insurance premiums would be logged on a secure and transparent distributed ledger and that they could independently verify their data in our configurable blockchain dashboard.
Harness Blockchain Alerting for Critical Events
An additional feature of the Anyblock Index is the ability to set-up fully-configurable alerts and notifications.
With the example of insurance, it’s important to track fraudulent activity and spot errors before they transpire into bigger problems. When handling financial transactions and building a business that centers around measuring risk, it’s vital that key stakeholders are kept in the loop and briefed with important updates.
Blockchain dashboards can be configured to track smart contracts and trigger an alert when a specified credential changes. Whether it’s alerting your cybersecurity team via Slack when there’s been a transfer of ownership on an asset or sending a weekly email update to your financial team, alerts are extremely important to oversee the smooth-running of a blockchain.
Discover Fast & Effective Blockchain Data Analysis With Anyblock Analytics
A key benefit of the Anyblock Dashboards is the Metabase visualization layer. Our dashboard is designed to simplify the users’ interaction with key information and provide an interactive platform to engage with complex blockchain data. Without the need to code or hire a developer, you can simply click through an interactive editor to get your questions answered and charted in a very easy way.
If you already have Business Intelligence software such as Tableau, you can leverage your existing skills and licenses and add our blockchain data by simply pointing to our PostgreSQL data source.
How to Analyze Blockchain Data & Act on It Programmatically
The Anyblock blockchain solutions portfolio can also be used to support DApp development by easily integrated into our dedicated API for real-time data insights. Enjoy fast and fully-filterable queries across more than a dozen production and test networks including:
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Energy Web Foundation (EWC)
- POA xDAI (xDAI)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- And many more to come, such as Tezos, Polkadot, Cosmos/Tendermint…
Our API also includes flexible real-time alert notifications to be integrated into your DApp or trigger a workflow in existing non-blockchain enabled IT applications.
To learn more about blockchain analytics and how to either interpret blockchain data visually or integrate it programmatically, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Interested or questions?
+49 6131 3272372
Originally published at https://www.anyblockanalytics.com on June 22, 2020.