Getting Started: Graph 101

Line Austnes
December 13, 2021

Tech giants like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and PayPal all tapped into the power of graph databases to create booming businesses. Their secret? They each used graph database technology to harness the power of data connections.Today’s CIOs and CTOs don’t just need to manage larger volumes of data – they need to generate insight from their existing data.

In this case, the relationships between data points matter more than the individual points themselves. In order to leverage data relationships, organizations need a database technology that stores relationship information as a first-class entity. That technology is a graph database.So, what is a Graph? A graph is composed of two elements: a node and a relationship. Each node represents an entity (a person, place, thing, category or other piece of data), and each relationship represents how two nodes are associated.

This general-purpose structure allows you to model all kinds of scenarios – from a system of roads, to a network of devices, to a population’s medical history or anything else defined by relationships.Ironically, legacy relational database management systems (RDBMS) are poor at handling data relationships. Their rigid schemas make it difficult to add different connections or adapt to new business requirements.

Not only do graph databases effectively store data relationships; they’re also flexible when expanding a data model or conforming to changing business needs.A graph database is purpose-built to handle highly connected data, and the increase in the volume and connectedness of today’s data presents a tremendous opportunity for sustainable competitive advantage.

Where does sustainable competitive advantage come from? It’s not from data volume or velocities, but from the knowledge of relationships in your data.