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Meet the Top KNinjas of Just KNIME It!

November 30, 2022
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Celebrating our Top 4 KNinjas

We have reached the end of the Just KNIME It! challenges and are now ready to announce our KNinjas!

The 4 Top KNinjas of the Just KNIME It! Challenges

Just KNIME It! is a series of weekly challenges that ran from January 25 to October 26, 2022, with the goal of helping KNIME users prove their KNIME knowledge and practice their workflow building skills. For this time period we issued a total of 40 challenges. Each week we published a challenge (levels easy to difficult), and gave a week for our community to solve it before publishing our own solution. Solutions were uploaded onto the personal KNIME Hub space with the tag #justknimeit-xx, where xx was the number of the challenge. For each challenge you'll find a discussion space on the KNIME Forum plus a leaderboard ranking participants by the number of submitted solutions.

Chosen, based on four criteria – the number of submitted solutions, creativity, efficiency, and teaching value to others – the 4 top KNinjas are:

  1. Yasue Katsutaka (aka KNIMEST on the KNIME Forum)

  2. Emiliano Amendola (aka Eamendola on the KNIME Forum)

  3. Raffaello Barri (aka lelloba on the KNIME Forum)

  4. Anil Kumar Sharma (aka AnilKS on the KNIME Forum)

Congratulations to these KNinjas! They have made it to the 4 KNinjas of the Just KNIME It! challenges.

Let's get to know the winners. Read on to find out more about them, get pointers to their space on KNIME Community Hub, see selected challenges – the ones we feel stand out from other competitors, and as well as highlights on how they have contributed to the KNIME community.

Yasue Katsutaka (KNIME: @knimest, Twitter: @Note_of_KNIME)

Yasue works as an Information System Manager for Medicinal Chemistry in Nara, Japan. In his current job, he manages the database used by the life science team for drug discovery research. A medicinal chemist for over 20 years, Yasue knows the importance of using data to drive drug discovery research.

His Just KNIME It! Work

Yasue completed all 40 Just KNIME It! challenges. You can find all of his JUST KNIME It! solutions in his public space on the KNIME Community Hub.

His solutions are always meticulous, with each node containing a clear description of what it will do, and all components named distinctly and meaningfully. Similarly, the dashboards contain all required explanations to understand what is depicted in them.

Other members of the KNIME team have noted that Yasue always does a great job and writes about each and every solution – a tall order to do on a weekly basis (psst… we will talk about his blog later in this article as well).

We would also like to praise Yasue’s incredible work because it can be used as educational material for new KNIME users as well. Overall, we believe Yasue’s fantastic workflows specialize in clean and helpful documentation, which is why he is one of our winners.

Selected Challenge

One solution we would like to feature is his workflow for Challenge 39: Legislative Limits on Teaching.

In this challenge, KNIME users played the role of educational journalists investigating “educational gag orders” and were required to create a workflow that examined which states have the most gag orders, and which topics are most discussed overall. Yasue’s solution is shown in Fig. 1. Note the clear description and the comments under every node, as in all his other solutions.

Fig 1. Yasue’s annotated solution to challenge 39 of Just KNIME It!.

Extra Community Contribution

Yasue’s solution can be found not only on the KNIME Hub, but also on his blog. This blog – written in Japanese – has become a reference point for the KNIME newbies in Japan. Indeed, each article describes the chain of actions to bring the original data to the final target.

We were especially moved by his step-by-step instructions and guidance for each and every of the 40 challenges we presented. He also translated all the challenges so that even our Japanese-only-speaking community members can participate with ease. His work embodies the open-source spirit – taking work and making it available and accessible to an even broader audience in real-time.

Thank you, Yasue, for this wonderful contribution!

Fig 2. A picture of Yasue’s blog about all the Just KNIME It! Challenges.

Emiliano Amendola (KNIME: @eamendola, Twitter: @eamendola5)

Emiliano is a Computer Science Engineer from Asunción, Paraguay, and currently works as a Financial Data Analyst at the United Nations. In his career so far, he has mostly worked with banking and financial data, engaging in different data operations: from data cleaning and transformation to the application of machine learning models and the creation of dashboards. His interest in data analysis is connected to his senior years of his university studies, where he was particularly taken by all things data science.

His Just KNIME It! Work

Emiliano completed 37 Just KNIME It! challenges. You can find his solutions in his dedicated space on the KNIME Community Hub. Emiliano constantly blows us away with his amazing use of components to create beautiful works of art. Within the KNIME team, we each comment that his dashboards are some of the prettiest we’ve ever seen, the most elegant, and well documented. His workflows certainly specialize in beautiful dashboard design.

Selected Challenge

In representation of Emiliano’s submitted solutions, we have selected the workflow for Challenge 7: Women in Government. In this challenge participants were asked to create one or more visualizations to inspect the percent share of seats held by women in local government, as reported by the United Nations Development Program: Human Development Reports. The purpose of this report was to “ensure women's full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life”. Emiliano’s solution stood out for the unique use of layout, interactivity, and text size control - getting the right balance of all three is quite a feat, so he is clearly aesthetically gifted.

Fig. 3. Emiliano’s well-designed dashboard, made for challenge 7 of Just KNIME It!, as a GIF 
Extra Community Contribution

Not only for this challenge, but for almost any challenge with visual requirements, Emiliano constantly went above and beyond to offer excellent eye candy with his dashboards. And what we also love about this is that he brings his creations to LinkedIn and shows them off to the world.

Thanks for sharing your work with all of us in LinkedIn land, Emiliano!

Fig. 4. Emiliano’s Linkedin post with an eye-pleasing solution to challenge 37 of Just KNIME It!

Raffaello Barri (KNIME: @lelloba)

Raffaello graduated in Engineering Management, specializing in supply chain management two years ago. He then started working as a Business Process Specialist at Arcese in Milan, Italy. Raffaello discovered his interest in data-driven applications while working on his Master’s thesis, where he developed a logistics network. He encountered KNIME in August 2021 and quickly became passionate about the tool, using it not only for work but also for hobby projects.

His Just KNIME It! Work

Raffaello completed all 40 Just KNIME It! challenges. You can find his solutions in his space on the KNIME Community Hub. His solutions often make use of components to encapsulate and recycle useful functionalities. Raffaello is a master in component building, often even going to great lengths to find the most appropriate icon for them. And he also makes sure his workflows are clean and crisp, annotating each appropriately and making sure they are aesthetically pleasing.

Fig. 5. Raffaello’s well-documented and visually appealing solution to challenge 9 of Just KNIME It!
Selected Challenge

In representation of Raffaello’s submitted solutions, we have selected the workflow for Challenge 31: Extracting Keywords from a Website. Here, participants were tasked with extracting text from a recipe web page, performing a keyword search, and then creating a tag cloud of the keywords.

The solution should have shown the tag cloud of the keywords and produced a guess for the recipe! Looking at Lelloba’s solution via the tag cloud below, can you guess what the ingredients will ultimately produce?

Fig. 6. Raffaello’s tag cloud solution to challenge 31 of Just KNIME It!
Extra Community Contribution

Apart from being a prime competitor in the Just KNIME It! challenges, Raffaello also completed the #66daysofdata challenge, but away from the social media spotlight. He also spends time on the KNIME Forum helping others. His posts on the Forum are clearly successful, having received over 200 likes! His dedication to KNIME and to KNIME users in need is truly something we love to see and reward!

Thank you for helping us make the KNIME community even better, Raffaello!

Fig. 7. Raffaello helping another KNIME user on the KNIME Forum.

Anil Kumar Sharma (KNIME: @AnilKS, Twitter: @anilsharma2910)

Anil is a DGM Purchase at Dabur India Limited (A leading FMCG Company) from Delhi NCR, India, and currently handles soft commodity sourcing for the CPG industry. His interests in data analytics mainly sparked within the scope of his job, where he usually deals with large amounts of diverse structured and unstructured data, and is responsible for the analytics and automation of various supply management processes.

His Just KNIME It! Work

Anil completed all 40 Just KNIME It! challenges. You can find his solutions in his dedicated space on the KNIME Community Hub. His solutions are efficient, to the point, and sometimes the very first solution we’d receive for a challenge! We really noticed that he’d often use the least number of nodes to reach the goal of the challenge – and in this case less is far more. His workflows specialize in compactness making them approachable and readable even for the newest of KNIME users.

Fig. 8. Anil’s elegant solution to challenge 27 of Just KNIME It!
Selected Challenge

In representation of Anil’s submitted solutions, we have selected the workflow for Challenge 27: “Rare Blood Types”. Here the goal was to help a group of researchers find the number of citizens with O blood type per US state within some messy data. Anil was amongst the first challengers to submit a very practical and compact solution that quickly gets to the point and generates the needed graphics. Notice the beauty of just 7 nodes and one component!

He also approached the problem a little differently. Whereas in our solution we used the Regex Split node to extract the state from the address line into a separate column, Anil more strategically used the Cell Splitter node instead, making an approach that those without regex knowledge can easily follow.

Extra Community Contribution

Anil was also one of the participants of the first edition of the social media challenge #66daysofdata with KNIME. He was the first user to complete the challenge, documenting his progress daily on Twitter. His tweets kept him and others well motivated to keep learning KNIME for 66+ days! Great job, Anil!

Fig. 9. Anil’s animated bar chart tweet on Day 50 of the social media challenge “66 days of data with KNIME”.

Congratulations to our newest KNinjas!

Double congratulations indeed for having completed most of, if not all, the challenges and for having highlighted, each one of them, a different aspect of the versatility of the KNIME Analytics Platform. We at KNIME appreciate all your hard work and dedication, so thank you, top 4! You are the elites in our book and we look forward to seeing how you’ll make use of KNIME going forward!

P.S. The Just KNIME It! challenges have come to end… but… will there be a season 2? Stay tuned for what happens next with the Just KNIME It! challenges.

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