Gartner has put “Knowledge Graphs” at the peak of inflated expectations. If you are a Knowledge Graph software vendor, this might be good news. Companies will be buying knowledge graphs without knowing what they are. I’m reminded of an old cartoon of an executive dictating into a dictation machine: “…and in closing, in the future implementing a relational database will be essential to the competitive survival of all firms. Oh, and Miss Smith, can you find out what a relational database is?” I imagine this playing out now, substituting “knowledge graph” for “relational database” and by-passing the misogynistic secretarial pool.
If you’re in the software side of this ecosystem, put some champagne on ice, dust off your business plan, and get your VCs on speed dial. Happy times are imminent.
Those of you who have been following this column know that our recommendations for data-centric transformations strongly encourage semantic technology and model driven development implemented on a knowledge graph. As we’ve said elsewhere, it is possible to become data-centric without all three legs of this stool, but it’s much harder than it needs to be. We find our fate at least partially tethered to the knowledge graph marketplace. You might think we’d be thrilled by the news that is lifting our software brethren’s boats.
But we know how this movie / roller coaster ends. Once a concept scales this peak, opportunists come out of the woodwork. Consultants will be touting their “Knowledge Graph Solutions” application and vendors will repackage their Content Management System or ETL Pipeline product as a key step on the way Knowledge Graph nirvana. Anyone who can spell “Knowledge Graph” will have one to offer.
Some of you will avoid the siren’s song, but many will not. Projects will be launched with great fanfare. Budgets will be blown. What is predictable is that these projects will fail to deliver on their promises. Sponsors will be disappointed. Naysayers will trot out their “I told you so’s.” Gartner will announce Knowledge Graphs are in the Trough of Disillusionment. Opportunists will jump on the next band wagon.