What do eBay, Airbnb, Microsoft, Lending Club, and Comcast have in common? They're all using knowledge graphs to understand their customers, business decisions, and product lines. Why? Because they easily and intuitively visualize the nature, depth, and interdependence of the relationships they've created with their business decisions.

But first, what's a knowledge graph? It's a visualization of a knowledge base. A knowledge base is intended to be thought of differently than a database. While it's a collection of structured and unstructred information just like a database, a knowledge base is meant to represent facts — both qualitative and quantitative — about the objects it describes, allowing users or machines to make inferences about those facts in order to deduce new facts. They show relationships between objects, the nature of those relationships, and what those relationships may mean.

In other words, they tell us a lot about the world that a database on its own cannot. And when you visualize a knowledge base, you get a knowledge graph. We at Thinknum Media have used them to do everything from understand the depth of Softbank Vision Fund relationships, to the dynamic web of Tiger Cub investors, to the 2017 Houson Astros diaspora.

But who else uses knowledge graphs, and why?

To understand how these companies are using knowledge graphs, we did what we do best: we visualized it with a knowledge graph created in our new no-code tool KGBase, no less.

Because what else would we use?

Below, we mapped out the companies, their partners, and what they're using knowledge graphs for so you can explore the relationships and power of the visual tool in the best way possible. We encourage you to click through and explore the knowledge graph over at KGBase to learn more.

Our knowledge graph here includes 192 nodes, including the companies, their vendors, and use cases. The larger the node in this case, the more relationships it has. In red, you'll see the corporate user of knowledge graphs. In yellow, the vendors: the companies producing knowledge graphs for the companies in red. We also grouped — and related — by industry, language, use case, and even the graph element (i.e. are they graphing customers, products, orders, etc.). 

As you can imagine, it's complex, but when you drill down into a company, vendor, or use case type, you begin to see just how these powerful visual tools are being used by market leaders from various sectors.

First, the players in the space. Companies like Neo4j, Amazon Neptune, MarkLogic, TigerGraph have developed tools that corporations like eBay and Walmart are using in unique ways to gain new insights on their businesses. 

If you click on one of the vendors in blue in the above KGBase visualization, you'll see that, for example, that Amazon Neptune is being used by Intuit, Samsung, AstraZeneda, and Siemens. Or, take a look at Neo4j — it's already being used by IBM, Lyft, Adobe, Microsoft, Cisco, and others. Want to know what they're doing with knowledge graphs? Select "focus on node" for that company and you'll get an idea. More on that below.

This view shows which corporations are using more knowledge graphs for everyday business decisions. Some of the top users include eBay, Walmart, Lyft, and Airbnb. It also shows the sectors each company is in, which gives you a visual reference as to how diverse the set really is.

If you drill down to eBay, one of the most prolific users of knowledge graphs to date, you'll see that they're utilzing Neo4j to understand everything from the brands, people, and places within its product base. But what we also see is the nature of those relationships — inferences that tell us a lot about how one of the largest e-commerce sites in the world is making decisions. But not just that: with this KGbase knowledge graph, we also gain an understanding of the internal tools and development languages that eBay is using to study, create, and implement.

Other KGBase studies at Thinknum Media:

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