What is a graph database?

Virginia Backaitis
2 min readApr 21, 2021

A graph database is a database that uses a graph structure. This database uses nodes and edges (relationships) to represent and store data. Each node represents an entity (such as a biological entity), and each edge represents a connection or relationship between two nodes. The key concept of this system is a graph structure (organized by nodes and edges) for connections among the stored data. The graph database is more expressive and significantly simpler than traditional relational databases and other NoSQL databases and is very useful for situations with heavily interconnected data. Especially, the graph database is specialized to represent all of the relationships among large-scale data and is useful for managing deeply linked data. Nowadays, graph databases are widely used in many fields, including computer science and social and technological network analyses. (Credit Byoung-Ha Yoon, Seon-Kyu Kim, and Seon-Young Kim)

In the Forrester Wave for Graph Data Platforms Q4 2020 Forrester analysts Noel Yuhanna with Gene Leganza, Daniel Weber wrote that “Graph is the fastest way to connect data, especially when dealing with complex or large volumes of disparate data. Without graph, organizations have to rely on developers to write complex code that can take considerable time and effort. In some cases, it becomes impractical due to the complexity of data. Graph data platform is a new and emerging market that allows organizations to think differently and create new, intelligence-based business opportunities that would otherwise be difficult to develop and support.”

Virginia Backaitis

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