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Why your organization
should be using a graph database in 2021

Graph databases have been gaining interest for a number of years because of the benefits they deliver to industries and organizations of all types. As our world becomes increasingly connected, it becomes more important to have clarity into the connections and relationships that drive our world forward. This is where graph databases shine. 

Introduction

Your business is operating in an ever more connected world where the understanding of complex relationships and interdependencies between different data points is crucial to many decision-making processes. This is where a graph analytics platform can help.

 

Graph offers powerful data modeling and analysis capabilities that can be used to model complex systems and environments. The graph can help to answer challenging questions made opaque by business complexity. 

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Why have I not heard of graphs before? Where are graphs currently in use?

You maybe haven't heard of graph technology because it's not mainstream - yet. But many of the services you use on a daily basis are powered by a graph database! Such examples include Google’s search engine, Amazon recommendations, and Linkedin’s connection recommendations. All these data management systems use graph as a better way to engineer, optimize, store, and analyze complex networks. As a result, they offer highly flexible and efficient ways to use data.

Imagine being able to Google all the information you need about your business. Sounds pretty great, right? It's a game-changer for many, and it's the approach that is being steadily adopted to help with a number of mission-critical business operations.

Primarily, graph technology is helping businesses get better, faster, and more accurate insight into their own business operations and their customers.  Graph databases are exceptionally good at dealing with and making sense of complicated data. They're a far better alternative to traditional systems, like SQL databases, that simply do not have the capability to deal with these levels of complexity. As a result, they are not the best option for modern-day data, or meeting modern-day business demands and expectations.

What does a graph database look like? How is it different from the databases I'm used to?

Graph technology is not as confusing as it may first look. It's far better than traditional databases at representing how we, as humans, think about the real world. A graph is made up of three major things: nodes, edges, and labels.
 

A node represents an entity, like a person, a place, or an object.
 

An edge represents a relationship between a person, place, or object.

And labels represent information about the node or the edge.

Here's an example of all three of these elements together:

 


 

By displaying and storing data this way, we can gather and navigate more comprehensive views of all the different moving parts in our business and how they interrelate with each other.

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Where can I use a graph database?

Because graph technology is so flexible, it can be applied to many use cases. That's not to say it's an outright substitute for all current data storage options and processes. Think of it more as a helpful extension or augmentation that benefits your existing data management and data processing efforts. It also helps you solve some of the more difficult challenges that you may face in these areas that you ordinarily may not be able to - or may not even try - to solve.

Popular use cases include:

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