Business Insider published an article detailing how Neo4j, graph database, help journalists crack the Paradise Papers. In the past, Neo4j has played a crucial role in three major journalistic investigations that involved querying huge amounts of data: the Swiss Leaks in 2015, last year’s Panama Papers, and this year’s Paradise Papers. Neo4j’s software enabled investigative journalists to explore the hidden relationships between powerful people and offshore bank accounts. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Discovering these connections would have been impossible if the information had been structured into a tabular format, according to Eifrem. The ICIJ used Neo4j and other tools to detect connections that were otherwise invisible — like the shared address between Gunnlaugsson and his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir. Pierre Romera, chief technology officer of the ICIJ, told Business Insider: “Most of the leaks we get are not structured since they are raw documents.

“With the Paradise Papers, those documents represented 1.4 TB of data and were gathered from different sources. Putting them in a single one database was a challenge for us. With Neo4j and [visualisation tool] Linkurious, and after a few weeks of research, we were able to propose to our 382 journalists a way to explore the data and also to share visualisations from stories they were working on. It’s surprising how intuitive a graph database can be for non-tech savvy people. Thanks to this approach, we could both investigate and prepare the future releases.”
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