Cerved is an Italian data-driven company giving businesses and institutions the data and tools to guide their decisions, and a team of people to turn those decisions into action. Cerved helps its clients with credit information, marketing and the management of bad credit. They have one of the leading European rating agencies within its group.
Graph4you was born within the Innovation group at Cerved during the last quarter of 2015, specifically to explore the potential of graphs technologies to support financial decision making.
The technology behind their solution is based on a Neo4j graph database. In particular, the database has been collecting different data sources coming from within Cerved, as geo-localized information of people and companies, real estate data, public administrations and business ownerships. Nowadays, in the Neo4j cluster, there are more than 45 million nodes and 100 million relationships.
Graph4you reveals, in fractions of seconds, the hidden relationships among the entities stored in the graph, highlighting connected paths. With this graph database solution, it’s easy for users to investigate all the information along interconnected entities, emphasizing possible troubles and issues.
Today, Graph4you users can query and navigate through the Italian business network to discover connections between entities or get the corporate linkages of companies and individuals. The web application uses Ogma.js (by Linkurious) as a graph visualization library.
Furthermore, it’s possible to interface via REST API in order to simplify integration and automate customers workflow. The platform has been realized by Quantyca in Spring and React.
With Graph4you, Cerved helps its customers accelerate, improve and make clear the decision-making process for procurement, fraud detection and business intelligence problems. This is possible thanks to Neo4j’s native graph database solution and its built-in algorithms.
However, connecting and navigating such amounts of data also require a big effort in extending the capabilities of Neo4j. Connecting companies such as Cerved and LARUS did the trick.
LARUS provided their full support in the project, developing the weighted shortest-path algorithm and engineering most of the queries a user can perform over the database.
Based on the well-known Dijkstra algorithm, the procedure developed by LARUS enriches the possibility for the user to discover the weighted distance between pairs of nodes or between a node and a customer list (e.g. blacklist, whitelist, prospect).
For each query, the user can use a custom set of weights (scenario) at runtime, as well as filtering for specific nodes and relationships.
One more, Neo4j did the job. At the core of the business, Neo4j provides full support for the Graph4you engine, and allowed two companies to connect their own experiences and skills, providing such a powerful product to the marketplace.
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About the Author
Nunzio Pellegrino, Fabio Lamanna & Omar Rampado
Nunzio Pellegrino is a Data Scientist at Cerved. He works in the Innovation Team, a group constantly focused on extracting value from data and resolving problems with the latest technologies. He holds a degree in statistics with a background in machine learning. He’s been primarily working on data integration and business intelligence projects for three years. He’s the Product Owner of Graph4you, the solution based on Neo4j for exploring the Italian business network. Also, he’s involved in Italian open data projects. R enthusiast, Python practitioner and fascinated by the graph ecosystem.
Fabio Lamanna is a Ph.D. Civil Transportation Engineer, in love with all things related to mobility, data and network dynamics. He’s currently working at LARUS, the #1 Italian Partner with Neo4j, and is a Neo4j Certified Consultant and Trainer. Graphs and networks integrate, support and fulfill his working life, from consulting activities on transportation networks analysis to research projects with data coming from social networks, cities and transportation systems. Also behind the organization of the DataBeers Venezia, he loves listening to music, traveling by train, and eating cheese and drinking red wine.
Omar Rampado is a passionate IT expert in software development and design. He has worked as a developer and R&D member at LARUS since 2007, which has grown his passion for open-source solutions and new technology. Since 2015, he has enjoyed worked with Big Data technologies and distributed computing.