In this week’s 5-minute interview, we spoke to Terry Franklin of Tourism Media, who won a Graphie Award for Intelligent Content Curation.
How does Tourism Media use Neo4j?
Terry Franklin: Tourism Media uses Neo4j as part of their intelligent content curation project, which means building content at scale for destinations all over the world using large datasets, combined with asking complex and interesting questions of the data.
How were you solving that problem before Neo4j?
Terry: Before using Neo4j, this project was originally commenced using more traditional relational databases. While that was enough to get the project up and running, we quickly ran into issues, not only around the storage of the data but also our ability to ask complex questions was much more constrained in a relational model than it is with Neo4j.
What made you choose Neo4j?
Terry: We chose Neo4j because they’re the obvious market leader in the graph database space. I think the reason for that begins with their great technical content and really engaging developer relations team. We were able to quickly start using the product, bring it into the business and the project, and have it make sense from a business perspective straight away.
What are you able to do now that you weren’t able to do previously?
Terry: Some things that we’re now able to do with the project, which we weren’t able to do before, is ask much more complex and interesting questions of the data that ultimately build better content.
One of my favorite use cases is being able to handle round-the-world travel – flights and cruises that might disembark in multiple cities or even continents during a single fixed journey. The ability to connect all of that data is not possible using relational models. It really speaks to the power of graph.
What made Neo4j AuraDB a good choice for this project?
Terry: Tourism Media chose AuraDB as their approach to Neo4j because it allows us to scale as big or as small as we need at any given time.
A project like this has varying levels of demand based on the amount of content that we’re looking to produce at any one time. With AuraDB, we can scale our clusters up and add clusters to the project if we need to, but at the same time we can scale them down during periods of less demand. We really are operating in a model that is efficient and right for this particular use case.
What is your favorite part about working with Neo4j?
Terry: Getting input from nontechnical people. Because the underlying concepts of the graph are so intuitive, it’s really easy to have a discussion with someone who’s nontechnical about a particular problem you’re working on. They can quickly understand what you’re dealing with and start to think about solutions and suggest potential improvements that you may not have considered. The graph data model really allows that sense of collaboration to grow.
What is next for your project?
Terry: This project is going really well at the moment and will continue to be developed. I think the future involves adding even more layers of data to the knowledge graph and being able to ask questions of that data in ways that we haven’t even thought of yet. That’s really exciting for us moving forward.
What do you think the future holds for graph technology?
Terry: I think graph technology has a lot to offer many different industries in the future.
One of the areas that I’m most excited to see advanced is graph data science in terms of its ability to find unseen things in data. Big data is so prevalent in our modern world but it’s often difficult to find out what’s important in the data. I think graph data science and the algorithms that Neo4j is developing will really empower businesses and organizations to find out quickly what’s important in their data and make the right decisions based on that.
Want to share about your Neo4j project in a future 5-Minute Interview? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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