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Actian adds SPARQL City's graph analytics engine to its arsenal

Finance, security and healthcare are set to be the main sectors to use new graph analytics technology from software firm Actian.

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Actian says the addition of graph analytics to its platform gives firms an alternative and potentially faster way to glean business information from a range of data sources.

The software company, formerly Ingres, is now offering the graph engine from SPARQL City as part of the Actian Analytics Platform.

Actian describes the SPARQLverse engine as the highest-performing enterprise analytics in-memory triplestore — triples are data entities made up of subject-predicate-object, such as "Colin eats cake".

The engine runs on clusters of commodity hardware using Apache Hadoop's HDFS as the underlying storage engine, executing the SQL-like queries of the SPARQL graph analytics language on data held in memory.

Despite the strengths of relational large-scale analytics, what lay behind SPARQL City's approach was the need for companies to tap into new data sources quickly when they lack the time to understand the datasets involved, according to SPARQL City marketing VP Vishal Daga.

"For example, with compliance and insider trading, understanding that A is related to F through these hubs, and finding more nuanced ways of connections. [It involves] not just looking at trade data but looking at trade data in conjunction with social data or spatial data to help identify high-risk activity," he said.

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"Those are the kinds of scenarios that work really well when you take a graph-based approach. Again, the idea of ingesting new data sources quickly, being able to do data discovery against them and running these kinds of unspecified depth queries to find where the hidden insights are."

Actian SVP business development Ashish Gupta said along with fraud applications in the financial sector, the other two areas where the company's graph analytics technology will find a role are security and healthcare.

"Customers are specifically in the banking industry, whether they do relationship analytics for credit card fraud, to capital markets if they start thinking about how risk needs to be managed, to healthcare customers looking at what is needed for doing claim fraud analysis or basic readmission risk analysis," he said.

"One additional one is customer-relationship analytics, specifically for churn models in retail customer sets for next-best offers," Gupta said.

Among its many acquisitions, in April 2013 Actian bought database and analytics firm ParAccel, which was founded by Barry Zane who now heads SPARQL City. Actian is a lead shareholder in SPARQL City and Actian CEO Steve Shine sits on its board.

In June Actian announced the Hadoop Edition of its analytics software, which it described as the first platform with full SQL support designed to run entirely natively on the distributed big-data framework.

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