Graph Databases are becoming more prominent in today’s society for more than just social networking, with Neo4j leading the way


A year ago, not many developers, let alone casual technology industry observers, had heard about graph databases. But thanks to the release of Facebook’s popular “Graph Search” product released earlier this year, this is no longer true. And yet people still think that graph databases are useful only for social networks.

This is outdated thinking according to Emil Eifrem. Admittedly he’s a little biased, being CEO and Founder of Neo Technology, one of the pioneers of graph database technology. As evidence, Eifrem notes that graph databases have bled into a variety of unexpected industries, including telecom, financial services, HR, and logistics.

“We think that by the end of this decade, graph databases will be everywhere there’s software,” Eifrem says. “Your toaster will run graph databases.” This is less far fetched than it may seem given the direction the connected home is headed.

As companies in all industries become more social in nature and recognize that there is more value in data that is connected, rather than isolated in distinct silos, they are turning to graph database architectures. The technology enables companies to better map relationships, mine connections, power user queries, and resolve connected data challenges. The primary pain point Neo is looking to solve is “companies trying to squeeze connected data into existing database structures,” Eifrem says. “In some situations where it’s not 10 times better to use a graph, it’s not easy enough to justify the switch. But in plenty of situations, it’s 100 times better, and that’s where we’re seeing adoption.”

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