A graph database like Neo4j allows much greater flexibility than a traditional relational database, and this is especially true for businesses that need to be able to visualize the connections in their data.
In this week’s five-minute interview (conducted at GraphTour NYC 2019), we speak with Dave Mohr, director of North American East Region sales for Neo4j, about business transformations customers are seeing using Neo4j.
What is your favorite aspect of Neo4j?
I think my favorite thing about Neo4j is that the technology is such a game changer for how our customers are leveraging data. It’s so different from what they’ve been doing. And it really drives a lot of value for their business.
It’s not just a technology purchase for them, but it really applies to important business transformations where they’re able to extract value. Being a part of Neo4j, I work with customers and see how exciting this really is.
What advice do you have for someone getting started with Neo4j?The first step is for them to reimagine their data as a graph. They need to rethink how they’ve been using data and look at the world as a graph.
If they don’t do that, it’s really an uphill battle because it’s so different from what they’ve done previously or what they’re currently doing. They run into a lot of friction.
What is your favorite use case for Neo4j?I have to go with the Panama Papers. It’s a pretty well-known scandal, and people can really relate to that. So when we talk about Neo4j being a part of the Panama Papers tech stack, it helps them to understand the possibilities.
And it’s still a very active investigation. Other companies have been investigated and raided as a result of the Panama Papers.
A movie about the Panama Papers, The Laundromat, recently came out, with famous stars like Meryl Streep and Antonio Banderas.
What does the future hold for graph technology?
Well, since I’ve joined Neo4j, graph adoption has been at an inflection point on an exponential curve. And I see that continuing. It could be a rocket ship where it’s just going straight up.
Based on the discussions I’ve had with people, once they embrace the graph model, they see no limit to how it can be used. It’s a real game-changer for the whole database industry. We could be the size of Oracle one day.
How do you help customers dive into graphs?
Customers engage with us because they’re looking at graph databases. And they want to know how graph databases work and what kind of use cases they can apply them to and we start working with them there.
But we very quickly expand the possibilities with them. We offer visualization technology and data orchestration technology. And we can work on analytics use cases or transactional workloads and we have a full consulting organization that has the ability to help them implement their applications and solutions. So we start with, “Oh, this graph database thing is kind of intriguing.”
We have much broader capabilities and we’re a strategic partner to them on a complete solution, not just the database. That’s really what we strive for. And ultimately, that’s the thing that helps customers become more successful as they implement Neo4j. Because they need all of those components from vendors who have experience implementing them and that’s what we can really bring to the table.
What is a good time for someone to start looking into graphs?
We’ll come in at any point in time. We will start when they just have an inkling, that maybe they have a graph problem. We’d love to start working with them there. We can do things on a pre-sales basis with demonstrations. We have our innovation lab where we can help them formulate and crystallize a solution.
So as soon as they think that they may have a problem, for example, if they’ve tried things and they are just not working, it’s a good time to start bringing us in right from the beginning.
Want to share about your Neo4j project in a future 5-Minute Interview? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to learn more on how relational databases compare to their graph counterparts? Get The Definitive Guide to Graph Databases for the RDBMS Developer, and discover when and how to use graphs in conjunction with your relational database.
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