Join DataStax product leaders Denise Gosnell and Matthias Broecheler on May 19 at 11 am PT for a deep dive webinar into graph databases and the 5 most common mistakes to avoid. Get a free preview (Ch 3-5) of The Practitioner’s Guide to Graph Data: Applying Graph Thinking and Graph Technologies to Solve Complex Problems today!

If you’re like most people, you have a Facebook account, which means you’ve likely searched for someone on the platform at one point or another.

Think back to what you saw the last time you did that. Unless your search was completely random, odds are you came across a cadre of “shared friends” that you and the individual you searched for have in common. 

Then the wheels started turning: Oh, so that’s how I know so-and-so. . .

The shared friends feature is great. It helps us figure out the relationships between the folks in our networks. It helps us piece things together. 

How does this happen?

Have you ever stopped to think about how Facebook serves up those shared friends?

It turns out that delivering shared friends results is the sum of an intricate orchestration of tools and data that, together, solve an extremely complex, distributed problem.

The way we think about relationships within data sets is called graph thinking

You’re connecting Person A to Person B (both of whom might know Person C)—which is just how our complex minds think about information.

In recent years, graph technology has emerged to digitize graph thinking and bridge the gap between relationships and the linear memory constraints of modern computing infrastructure. 

In other words, graph technology enables computers to think about the world the same way we do.

I recently teamed up with my colleague Matthias Broecheler, DataStax’s chief technologist, to write a book for O’Reilly Media designed to show engineers, data scientists, and data analytics professionals how to use graph technology to solve complex problems. 

It’s called The Practitioner’s Guide to Graph Data: Applying Graph Thinking and Graph Technologies to Solve Complex Problems, and we’d love for you to check it out. You can access the book for free by signing up for a 30-day free trial of O'Reilly online learning.

If you’re interested in learning how graph thinking can help you make the best technology decisions, read the book and learn:

  • How to use graph technology to build a Customer 360 application
  • How to build a Netflix-style recommendation system
  • How to build graph technology with templates
  • …and more!

We hope that those who read it will become familiar with graph theory, database schema, distributed systems, data analysis, and the intersection of all of these fields: graph thinking.

Enjoy!