How are you scaling and championing KNIME Analytics Platform in your job?

I found KNIME AP just over a year ago, and use it every day at work for various tasks. It speeds up and solves so many problems that to me it has become indispensable. However there’s a learning curve, and while others on my team have seen it nobody else is working with it yet.

I’d like to see others in my team using it and developing workflows, but need to find a way to get it adopted and made a key part of their toolkit.

Does anyone have any success stories of how they have gone from 1 to lots of people using it? And how did you scale up?

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Hi @ajackson

You can try the following strategy.

You are now 40% more productive than your non-KNIME using colleagues.

You go to your boss and say “I learned KNIME on my own time. I am now 40% more productive. Give me a 20% pay rise.”

Your boss will either:
(a) Roll on the floor laughing their ass off.
(b) Give you a pay rise.

If (a) Go find a job where you can earn 20% more.
If (b) Enjoy the pay rise and see if your colleagues are intelligent enough to work out the reward mechanism.

DiaAzul
LinkedIn | Medium | GitHub

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They actually already gave me a raise after I learned it … :slight_smile:

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In this case enjoy and wait until your department get more work or use option a. Also, if KNIME becomes more interactive with wider set of algorithms and simpler nodes use, one day it may win the world.

Offer to automate something crucial for your boss.

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@ajackson

A couple of practical ideas. You can break down deploying a new tool/ methodology within an organisation into four stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Training
  3. Enablement
  4. Support

Awareness is making people aware of the tool / methodology. This could be achieved with articles in newsletters/ intranet; direct communications; seminars/talks; demonstrations. You could offer to demonstrate one of your workflows or give a presentation at a team meeting for instance. Raising awareness is about demonstrating the benefit of the tool so that people are motivated to engage with subsequent phases.

Once people are interested then the next stage is providing training to use the tool /methodology. You could provide this yourself, or if you don’t have the capacity then contract an outside party to provide the training. If it is training to a large number of people in a short period of time then an external party is preferable. The business case is based upon the increased productivity of the organisation against the cost of training. Initial training should be face-to-face and probably in small groups, however, subsequent training could be provided using online training courses once people have been given the basic skills.

Enablement is ensuring that individuals have access to the tools so that they can use them. There is no point in training someone to use KNIME if they cannot access the software. Enablement is not just about providing the software on the computer, but also making sure that the supporting infrastructure (technical and human) is in place as well. This might require the IT department to adopt the software and ensure that it is included in the basic desktop software build, that they can also update the software and manage any security issues. You might also need to think though connectivity between KNIME and databases, file servers, access to update sites, whether you want to allow/disallow Python nodes. Everything has consequences and across a large group of people there is a need to provide support because you can guarantee someone will have a problem they cannot fix and you personally don’t want to have to fix every problem.

Support is required once the tool/ methodology is formally launched and people are using it. There are many ways to provide support and often the best way is for users to support each other. This could be through an internal online forum, quarterly show-tell meetings to share best practice, competitions/ rewards for pushing new solutions, additional training. You will need someone to act as a sponsor/ champion to maintain momentum (otherwise it will lose momentum) and provide funding where it is required. In a large organisation you would need an senior leadership sponsor to drive adoption across the whole organisation and department champions to drive adoption locally. The tools used to drive adoption will vary depending upon the organisation and its culture.

The most important aspect of driving adoption of KNIME (or any other tool or methodology) in an organisation is management sponsorship at an appropriate level. It costs money to implement something new and there will be political resistance to any change. You need someone who takes ownership of the change and is in a position to remove any blockages (whether financial or political). For a small team this could be your manager if the change is local, but if you want to drive a larger change it will require a manager further up the hierarchy.

DiaAzul
LinkedIn | Medium | GitHub

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@DiaAzul definitely good point. To implement new product to the company bigger than 100 people you need institutionalize it using mentioned by you stages. The pure enthusiasm is not enough. So the effect of implementation should be on the corporate level.

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If you really like to help them,
have a look at their task. Show them how the can be more productive / spent less time / hassle less using KNIME instead of their current tool of choice (probably excel or sth)
If you use KNIME “from their perspective” and show it’s benefits they sure will adapt

And if not remember the old saying.
You can bring a horse to the water but …

And if you have time left to spend you don’t need for your colleagues then contributing to the forum here is an excellenct choice and time well spent.
br

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My boss is all on board… lots of stuff is already automated. I am looking for success stories about how it has spread :slight_smile:

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@ajackson I have collected a few resources from (mostly) german companies. Most of them have some sort of community strategy and internal program to promote KNIME.

We have some sort of internal social network where there is a KNIME group with a significant number of participants. Also a Slack or Team channel might be a start. If possible you might want to search for one or two additional people to form a small group. It is more fun that way :slight_smile:

Also, you might want to check if your company offers some sort of (up-)skilling program. You might want to contact HR if it would be possible to set up a program with KNIME. One idea could be to use the existing courses on https://knime.learnupon.com and schedule a weekly or bi-weekly mentoring session if you can not do the whole instruction yourself. This of course will need some level of self-motivation by the participants (but they would need that anyway).

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Hey @ajackson

1st of all congrats on the pay rise :slight_smile:

Basically what we do is 2 things:

  1. we offer to help people creating their workflows in a kind of co-creation. So I find a solution for them together WITH them and explain it along the way. We don’t charge money to anyone but the payment we ask for is promotion. Share it with your boss, once this thing is done and be specific how it helped you.

That has really increased the speed with which the word about KNIME was spread internally.

  1. We have set up a webinar “10 things you probably didn’t know about KNIME” with some exotic use cases. Out of which resulted a list of people interested in instructor led training (and a Trainer’s certificate for me :wink: ) - we will start now our 2nd round of certifiing fellows in KNIME so they get the “spark”

Worked pretty well so far…

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