Elasticsearch London Meetup – Exploring the Graph API & SearchKit UI components

This month’s Elasticsearch Meetup was hosted by Argos at their Victoria Digital Hub with a relatively small crowd this time – I suspect quite a few who registered didn’t actually turn up or release their tickets, which is a shame as there was a waiting list.

Mark Harwood of Elastic was first with a talk about the new Graph API and visualisation components, which will shortly be available to Elastic subscription customers. Mark’s talks are always fascinating and entertaining and this one was no exception, covering how to derive network graphs from data in Elasticsearch and discover how indexed items are connected. Using publically available data he showed us how a Swedish metal band had proportionally more listeners in Finland than in Sweden (and how many bands of this genre seem to be named after unpleasant medical conditions), how clickthrough data can reveal who is buying food mixers and who is buying audio mixers and amusingly how a mysterious person called ‘Ravi’ has registered for hundreds of different Meetup events without attending a single one (as far as we know). Building on the significant terms aggregation, these graph features are a powerful tool for discovery (especially in a forensics context) of real and unexpected connections within your data.

Siavash and Joseph from TenEleven then showed us their component library for building Elasticsearch user interfaces, SearchKit. Based on React and allows one to “rapidly create beautiful search applications using declarative components, and without being an ElasticSearch expert.” They showed us a range of impressive demos with search interfaces created with only a few lines of configuration. SearchKit is open source under the Apache 2 license and they have seen huge interest – as of today the project has attracted over 1500 stars on Github! We’ll certainly be considering SearchKit for future Elasticsearch projects and we think the project has a bright future.

The evening ended with a Q&A session – thanks to our hosts Argos and both speakers, see you next time!

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