May 7, 2012

Terminology: Relationship analytics

This post is part of a series on managing and analyzing graph data. Posts to date include:

In late 2005, I encountered a company called Cogito that was using a graphical data manager to analyze relationships. They called this “relational analytics”, which I thought was a terrible name for something that they were trying to claim should NOT be done in a relational DBMS. On the spot, I coined relationship analytics as an alternative. A business relationship ensued, which included a short white paper. Cogito didn’t do so well, however, and for a while the term “relationship analytics” faltered too. But recently it’s made a bit of a comeback, having been adopted by Objectivity, Qlik Tech, Yarcdata and others.

“Relationship analytics” is not a perfect name, both because it’s longish and because it might over-connote a social-network focus. But then, no other term would be perfect either. So we might as well stick with it.

In that case, “relationship analytics” could use an actual definition, preferably one a little heftier than just:

Analytics on graphs.

At the risk of sounding circular, I’ll try:

Relationship analytics is analytics that focuses upon relationships encoded in data.

Notes on that proposed definition include:

So what do you think — does this definition of “relationship analytics” work?


7 Responses to “Terminology: Relationship analytics”

  1. Relationship analytics application notes | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on May 7th, 2012 10:06 am

    […] Relationship analytics definition […]

  2. Notes on graph data management | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on May 7th, 2012 10:09 am

    […] Relationship analytics definition […]

  3. Thomas W Dinsmore on May 8th, 2012 8:13 am

    How does this differ from link analysis? Link analysis is widely used in fraud applications (among other things).

  4. Curt Monash on May 8th, 2012 1:35 pm

    Similar concepts, Thomas. The Venn diagram between the two would have considerable overlap.

  5. Greg Holmberg on May 8th, 2012 1:53 pm

    Why not just “graph analytics”? Can’t be confused with anything, is very direct/obvious, and is domain neutral.

  6. Curt Monash on May 8th, 2012 2:02 pm

    The graph/graphical confusion seems to come up a fair amount.

    But it does have the virtue of being shorter.

  7. Rules for names | Strategic Messaging on November 3rd, 2013 1:33 am

    […] I once renamed graph-based “relational” analytics to “relationship”. Calling something “relational” is counterproductive when the main point is that it […]

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