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Diego Ferreira

Social Listening Made Easy with Konnect Insights and DataStax Enterprise

By Diego FerreiraApril 6, 2017

This post is one in a series of quick-hit interviews with companies using DataStax Enterprise (DSE) for key parts of their business. In this interview, we talked with Sameer Narkar, founder and chief software architect at Konnect Insights.

DataStax: Hello Sameer, thanks a lot for your time today. Could you please tell us a bit about Konnect Insights and your role at the company?

Konnect Insights: Konnect Insights is a social listening and analytics tool that gives you insights on what people are talking about your brand, competition, and industry. It gives you all the big-data analytics in an easy-to-use tool. I am the founder and chief software architect at Konnect Insights.

DataStax: What differentiates Konnect Insights from other social listening and analytics platforms?

Konnect Insights: We have our own search engines that crawl over 20 million websites plus we pull data from all social media channels. There are three key things why Konnect Insights is a preferred software tool over others and those are:

  • Data – We do not miss any conversation because of our search engine capabilities;
  • Speed – We bring this data faster than any other social listening tools;
  • Integrated Analytics – with a really cool and customizable dashboard.

DataStax: What technology did you use before you started using DataStax Enterprise (DSE)?

Konnect Insights: We started with SQL server – Web edition. But we always knew we were going to face scaling problem. SQL helped us to create a very good prototype.

DataStax: Why did you decide to use DataStax Enterprise? What kind of data is stored in DataStax Enterprise?

Konnect Insights: Our data was going to be mostly text and we wanted a column database much like SQL but with distributed architecture. Cassandra was the obvious choice. One of our team explored DSE during this period and we loved Cassandra, Solr and OpsCenter all in one.

The other thing that worked well for us in Solr was the ability to do full-text indexing. Our queries are Boolean queries and they are sometimes more than 2000 keywords in a single query.

DataStax: How would you sum up the benefits you’ve achieved with DataStax Enterprise?

Konnect Insights: There are three key benefits we’d highlight:

  • A very light front end application resulting in a great user experience.
  • Our search engine cluster can now grow horizontally that will allow us to crawl a lot more sites. More than what we do today.
  • Ability to monitor performance with ease using DSE tools.

DataStax: What caused you to use DataStax Enterprise over open source Apache Cassandra™?

Konnect Insights: It saved a lot of time and helped us go-live on production. We also appreciate the support we got from the DSE team.

DataStax: What features from the DataStax Enterprise stack are you using at the moment?

Konnect Insights: Cassandra, Solr and DSE tools like OpsCenter, DevCenter.

DataStax: Tell us about the future of your project(s), do you intend to leverage other parts of DSE to make it a reality?

Konnect Insights: We want to explore Spark very soon. We are also interested in DSE Graph.

DataStax: What advice would you give to other startups that are thinking about using Apache Cassandra™ and DSE for the first time in their solutions?

Konnect Insights: Data modeling is the key thing. Understanding partitioning and replication is the key to success with Apache Cassandra and DSE. If your data is primarily text and you want to distribute it horizontally Cassandra is the best choice. Solr is the best option if you want to query it. DSE offers all in one which is the best choice if you want a stable application running on production.



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