A few weeks ago the folks over here at Objectivity had a good laugh reading Arik Hesseldahl’s accurate portrayal of the Big Data craze in his article called Has Big Data Reached Its Moment of Disillusionment? In the article Hesseldahl turns to Gartner’s description of the hype cycle and the painful unfulfilled promises of Big Data technologies like Hadoop.
The Hype Cycle goes like this: A new technology that promises to fundamentally “change everything” gets talked up incessantly in the press and at industry events and often also in research reports. At some point the chatter peaks, and expectations reach a fever pitch. Soon, maybe a year or two after it all started to build and some money has been spent and everything that was supposed to have changed for the better actually hasn’t, the narrative focus turns negative. What seemed so brilliant and earthshaking 18 months ago, seems in retrospect to have been an ill-advised waste of time, money and attention.
Funny or not, we are sitting in the middle of the Hype Cycle as a market space; where companies are learning to manage Big Data but have no idea what to do with Big Data. Hesseldahl points out that Gartner analyst Svetlana Sicular argues in a blog post that companies are struggling with a basic problem: What questions do you attempt to answer with your data in the first place? “Several days ago, a financial industry client told me that framing a right question to express a game-changing idea is extremely challenging,” Sicular wrote. “First, selecting a question from multiple candidates; second, breaking it down to many sub-questions; and, third, answering even one of them reliably. It is hard.”
This is where the Graph Database is king. It’s our sweet spot so to say. You see graph databases like InfiniteGraph do exactly that; they answer the question you haven’t even asked. With a graph database you can connect the dots between your data and that is the difference between asking what percentage of your customers live in Boston and discovering that 300 customers in Boston just bought cars and you sell car insurance. The graph database is all about discovery and opportunity - analyzing the connections within your data and finding your next product line, promotional campaign, security hole and even fraud scandal. And with a distributed graph database you can compare practically EVERYTHING FROM EVERYWHERE. You can find the links between people, activities, transactions, phone calls, documents, photos - anything.
Understanding the relationships within your data is the true promise of the pot of gold at the end of a hyped up Big Data rainbow …because frankly, you don’t know what you don’t know. Try out a graph database and discover new opportunities to innovate. Below is a link to a few videos to help get you started with realizing the power of InfiniteGraph. Happy exploring!