DZD Greatly Improves Research Capabilities with Graph Technology

The Challenge

About seven million Germans suffer from diabetes – one of the biggest common national diseases. In order to better understand its causes, DZD scientists examine the disease from as many different angles as they can.

DZD’s research network accumulates a huge amount of data distributed across various locations and is working to build a master database to consolidate this information. The master database will provide its 400-strong team of scientists with a holistic view of available information, enabling them to gain valuable insights into the causes and progression of diabetes.

The Solution

With support from Neo4j, Dr. Jarasch set up a new internal tool dubbed DZDconnect. The graph database sits as a layer over the various relational databases linking different DZD systems and data silos. DZD scientists so far are particularly impressed by the graph visualization and easy querying that Neo4j has made possible.

“Creating the first data models with Neo4j was very fast,” said Dr. Jarasch. “In the first week, I was already able to connect metadata gained by our scientists in a data model, to test it and to show the added value of the graph database.” Thanks to the high scalability and performance of Neo4j, data integration possibilities are limitless. In the future, measurement data will also be automatically transmitted to the DZDconnect tool.

In turn, this means other scientists can use this measurement information for their own research without having to repeat previous measurements and waste valuable sample material. The result is an information context in which scientists conduct parallel research without asking the same questions or repeating tests.

For the researchers, data quickly gains relevance and the Neo4j graph database helps answer rich, complex questions. The more detailed the information, the easier it is to identify relationships and patterns, and Neo4j Bloom visualization tool will enable natural-language questions in the future.

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