David: With the rise in interest in big data, awareness of the value of graphs in being able to link and derive insights from all of it seems to be rapidly rising. The notion of what constitutes a graph is also more often expanding beyond the typical small scale social network and diagrammatic applications that traditional desktop tools like Analyst Notebook and Palantir were designed for, often involving a great deal of manual maintenance, to very large computationally derived graphs that take advantage of distributed analytics platforms like GraphX. On the research side I am also seeing increasing interest in the time element of graph data, in pursuit of better approaches to understanding dynamics and behaviors in graph data which have often been ignored.
Richard: Graphs are the next level beyond BI and traditional analytics. The last financial crisis that almost took down the entire economy was really a graph problem. BI only showed you that you had a lot of exposure to risk and it was changing fast. The risk, though, was spread out through different customers in different countries and was connected across counterparties through various obligations forming networks of credit. Since BI couldn’t answer the puzzle of those interrelationships everyone just stopped lending money to each other, which froze the financial markets and made things worse. Being able to model, analyze, visualize and assess complex dynamic networks will enable us to work through much more challenging problems in the future.
One of the exciting things about graph analysis and visualization is that the field is rapidly advancing. Today the typical business user may need to put in some effort to identify, collect and organize graph data into files and import data. But with the evolution of graph databases and visual analytic tools that connect directly to these databases, such as Linkurious to Neo4J, it will become much easier to explore and analyze graphs.
Richard Brath and David Jonker’s book “Graph Analysis and Visualization: Discovering Business Opportunity in Linked Data” is now available. Graphs are not mainstream, regular business users lack the concepts and tools to apply them to their challenges. Thus, efforts to educate the public to the potential of graph analysis are very important.
With examples like stock trading, marketing or logistics, Richard Brath and David Jonker show that the opportunities to use graphs are everywhere. With a little training, analysts, software engineers, decision-makers, everyone can identify these opportunities. And now there are tools that make working with graph data simple. Extracting information from complex graphs used to be reserved for PhDs and data scientists. At Linkurious we believe in democratization. That’s why we build tools that can be used by every-day business users to find answers in graph data. Read “Graph Analysis and Visualization: Discovering Business Opportunity in Linked Data”, take the red pill and start using your graph data!